hit hard as COVID-19 stalls sales
BY ARTHUR HALL Editor-at-Large, Jamaica Observer. April 10, 2020
Fishermen at Hellshire Fishing Beach in St Catherine, the Easter period is one of their best in terms of earnings as Jamaicans look forward to having fish at this time of year.
But this year the onset of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has stalled business for these fishermen as people have been staying away from the popular venue, where restrictions have been placed on all recreational activities, including dining in the many restaurants which are on the beach.
To compound matters, the management of the facility has decided that it should be shuttered completely over the Easter weekend to keep out the thousands of people who usually head there every public holiday.“It really bad now because since this virus thing start nobody nah buy no fish.
Things slow up, slow up, bad, bad, bad,” boat owner and fisherman George Smith told the Jamaica Observer as he relaxed on the beach Wednesday.“…[Normally on] the Easter weekend the amount of people who would come to buy fish and we wouldn't have hands to sell,” he said, noting that only a few people were visiting the location to buy fish.
“We a struggle to survive. Mi buy gas fi mi boat from last week and it just put down because the boat nah go sea. And even when we go sea we nah catch nothing because it look like all the fish dem fraid of the virus,” added Smith, with a chuckle.
Winsome Madden, who operates a shop on the Hellshire Beach, shared the concern of the fishermen, including her child's father. “A 'sufferation' now and we a suffer. We want to know what the Government a do fi we,” said Madden.“Now in the Easter we would sell fish but them say the beach have to close down. We just have to stand and look.
Nothing nah gwaan. We just have to stand and look. I don't know what the Government can do fi we as some flat foot hustlers but them need to do something,” added Madden. She said that no one who makes a living on the beach has escaped the fallout.
Among them is “Joseph” who has been a feature on the Hellshire Beach selling craft items for years.“I am not surviving based on how the people have drifted away. Some days I don't earn anything. In the period of four days I don't earn $3,000 and I have to spend it back on food and I still have to help another man by giving away a one or two hundred dollars,” said Joseph as he declared that he will not be able to survive without an earning for much longer.
“I am a sickly man, too, trouble with asthma, so I am trying my best to see what I can do to survive. I am just waiting to see what the bigger man can do to help me,” added Joseph.
Love and Harmony to sail next year
BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter, April 10, 2020
THE 2020 voyage of the Love and Harmony cruise is the latest event to fall, victim, to the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers have taken to social media and announced that the cruise will now take place next year with the same line-up of acts.“It's going to be a rough week but I know one thing for sure, God makes no mistakes.
We will be back bigger and better in 2021. Same line-up,” the Instagram post read. This voyage, which was scheduled to sail from April 6 to 11, would have been the fourth annual excursion, featuring a healthy cast of reggae artistes as well as acts from The Caribbean.
The trip, which sold out months ahead of sail date, was scheduled to start in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, then sail to Ocho Rios and Nassau in The Bahamas, before returning to Florida. Among the artistes booked to perform were Beres Hammond, Buju Banton, Nadine Sutherland, Cocoa Tea, Wayne Wonder, and Beenie Man.
One month ago, the organizers released a statement announcing a rescheduling of the trip due to the pandemic. At that time, they stated that the cruise would be shifted to a future date which will be safe for passengers.“We appreciate Celebrity Cruise's cooperation in honoring our request of postponement.
At this point, we do not have a specific date of sail. Our amazing artists have been contacted and have agreed to reschedule their performances for a future date, schedules permitting,” that statement read.
A number of other events have either had to cancel, postpone or the promoters are adopting a wait-and-see attitude before they determine the fate of their event. Just last week, organizers of Best of the Best, the annual reggae, dancehall, and soca show held in Miami for the past 13 years, announced that they were postponing the stage show to the same dates next year.
Here in Jamaica events such as: Jamaica Carnival, the annual Easter Sunday Morning of Movement and Music, organized by the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica; the annual Easter performance by the University Singers; and the performance season of the Jamaica Youth Chorale, have either been postponed or canceled.
Chronixx Hits Out Against COVID-19 'Circus'
Kimberley Small/Staff Reporter
Like DJ D-NICE’s 100,000-viewers-strong Quarantine Club on Instagram and Walshy Fire’s Quarantine Clash on YouTube, many artists and DJs around the world are rallying together, from their homes, in an effort to continue entertaining their fans during this lifestyle-altering COVID-19 pandemic.
But there are others, like reggae singer Chronixx, who are not logging on to the interim cyber-celebrations.“Not buying the COVID-19 ‘bs’. Nature is I protection and strong refuge. These tech-heads and warheads can’t talk to rastaman about human health. Never! And they can’t destroy all of humanity.
They can destroy some, but not all,” the one-time Grammy nominee wrote in a post to his Instagram account. While suggesting that the pandemic may be targeted and unnatural, Chronixx criticized the entertainment industry’s online partying response.
“Most of these famous people online [use] the internet like it’s a plaything. We are in the advent of the greatest crimes against humanity and people out here trying to keep themselves entertained,” he said.
Declaring no surprise at his online partying colleagues, Chronixx further asserted that his participation in such an event would only occur if it was designed as a tool in the controversial fight against vaccinations.
“I’m not here for the circus. I’m only going online for a concert if it’s an action against global vaccination. Health time now! Land time now. Earth time,” the post continues. The singer’s commentary comes as international media houses campaign against coronavirus conspiracy theories. The most prominent theory proposes a link between the viral spread and 5G technology.
In a report by Bloomberg, written by Ryan Gallagher, the theory is also getting a boost from what some researchers say is a coordinated disinformation campaign. Marc Owen Jones, a researcher who specializes in online disinformation networks at Hamad bin Khalifa University in Qatar, analyzed recent interactions on social media mentioning ‘5G’ and ‘corona’.
He uncovered a large number of accounts displaying what he termed ‘inauthentic activity’.A report from Time by Bill Perrigo revealed that the original 5G conspiracies existed in fringe areas of the Internet before the COVID-19 outbreak. It focused on the idea that the new phone masts required by the technology are somehow causing health problems that are being concealed by governments.
Judy has Marcia in her prayers
KEDIESHA PERRY Observer writer Wednesday, April 08, 2020
Former I-Three, Judy Mowatt said she has not spoken to former colleague Marcia Griffiths during her time of bereavement. She, however, said she has been praying for her.“When someone has lost a family member or close friend, it's a pain that only they can express.
What I will do is pray for my friend through this. Pain has an expiration date, and until she [Marcia] arrives at that expiration date, I will continue to pray. I pray that she will eventually be able to bask in the memories that she and Bob [Andy] shared. I pray that she will go through the grieving process naturally until it has reached its expiration,” she told the Jamaica Observer.
On March 27, veteran singer Keith “Bob Andy” Anderson passed away at his St Andrew home, after a brief illness. He was 75. In 1970, Andy and Griffiths collaborated on the popular hit Young, Gifted and Black.
Andy also wrote several of Griffith's timeless hits, including Mark My Word, Feel Like Jumping, Melody Life, and Truly. Mowatt, Griffiths, and Rita Marley were members of Bob Marley's backing vocals, the I-Three.
Mowatt said despite the fact that they haven't spoken, Griffiths knows she is always there for her.“Marcia is in a lot of pain. I don't know what to say to her, but when someone is grieving, you have to let them know that you are there for support if they need it. Grieving is something that takes time,” she added.
Thank you. This my friends, was your news roundup of interest from the past week, as seen through the eyes of the Caribbean man, as I found it I gave it to you. I take away nothing, not even so much as a claim of ownership, I add nothing either, well, yes, just my voice. Which is actually the reading voice of a people, my people, a people whom they say, does not read much, that’s why I do it. come join us here again next week at this same time for more of the same, until then, I remain E K, the Writingelk, and I am out.