When I first got the news of the coronavirus, I paid little attention to it. I never thought nor did I expect that it would flip the world upside down. I was in Jamaica at the time and things were still peaceful until we got our first case.

The days that followed were filled with panic. I knew I had to go shopping to stock up for necessities before the lockdown that was sure to come. When I got to the supermarket, it was a sight to see. The people were frantic and the store was almost empty. They were all buying excessively without care for the needs of others. It was to a point where a limit had to be placed on the number of bottles of hand sanitizer one individual could buy. It was at that moment that the seriousness of the situation really hit me. I knew that I had to get home to my island and my family but, unfortunately, the borders were locked and I was stuck and filled with worry. My Prime Minister, Hon. Gaston Browne had heard of the news of individuals who were trapped and within a few weeks, he raised enough money from sponsors to organize a flight to bring us home to Antigua, free of charge. I was grateful and eager to finally be with my family but I had to be quarantined for two weeks.

After release, I saw my dad first. Being the people person that he is, I could tell that he was sad and tired of having to be alone. I spent a couple of weeks with him first before I could see my mom and my sisters. When I finally met with them, I saw the toll that the idea of sickness took on my mother. She was the most worried out of all of us. The virus had filled her with overbearing paranoia and any odd feeling she felt in her body instantly put her into a panic. I have a biology background so I was somewhat able to ease her mind based on the general knowledge I had on the human body.

Eventually, things got better on my island. The number of active cases decreased gradually and the fear lessened. Whenever we go out, we still take the necessary precautions but I know for a fact, that we are all now more at peace. I am grateful that my island, as small as it is, is not facing any major outbreaks or high levels of active cases compared to that of other places. I only wish the same for the rest of the world.