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Belizeans Across the Country Voice Concerns over the Curfew

With the extension of the curfew for another thirty days our news correspondents have taken to the streets to find out how the citizenry is feeling about the seemingly never-ending curfew. Here are some of the views coming out of Belmopan.

Resident: “I think the curfew is very good because people are getting out of mischief but the bad part of it is for people who have to travel from Belmopan to Benque or Corozal or so forth timing is pretty short but we got to apply something so I would support the curfew.”

Resident: “I don’t really agree to this curfew it’s not helping to solve anything because the cases are still going up, crime is still going up, children are still dying every day like this curfew doesn’t make any sense. All they’re doing is taking away our rights little by little and we can’t say or do anything about it and that’s not fair. It’s not fair at all.”

Resident: “I think they should at least give it until around ten or ten thirty because it affects a lot of us out here. Well me in my job it doesn’t affect me but you have people who are working out of district and they have to get here about seven thirty shops are closed already and it puts a big strain on people. And in fact if you notice right now the crime is happening when it’s not curfew during the day so I don’t think it makes any sense.”

Resident: “My take on the curfew I believe there are some advantages and disadvantages to the curfew situation. For those people who normally have a lot of responsibility or duties that normally are part of the day in the night time I believe it helps them to do less and helps them to accomplish less. On the flip side of it I believe also it helps to control the movement of the population and that in itself helps to reduce the spread of COVID. Also as it relates to the youths in terms of doing these unnecessary crimes at night it does help in that situation particularly because they won’t be on the street so while being home it’s a good thing for them to be stuck in their home to avoid criminal activities and any idle kind of behavior so I believe there is good and bad to it.” 

Resident: “The curfew won’t affect me because I am a barber and due to the hours that you’re able to trim and you stop by four thirty , five in the day business isn’t too good so it won’t affect me. But I believe for the people that complain I want to say to them that this is the time for curfew and we must respect the law of the land for those people who take charge of this country and if they call for it they must learn to have a little patience because it’s not everything every time things will be going fine and high and dandy. But I believe that if they are the ones complaining that it is affecting them then those who feel it know it but I believe it is not forever they should try to make some adjustment in their business so that they could just prolong and do something else before the curfew comes in effect and that is my two cents.”

In the medical and veterinary sectors there is some leniency in the curfew particularly when it comes to emergencies. One employee at a veterinary clinic spoke on the access of meals is a challenge for many due to the early closures of food businesses.

Resident: “It doesn’t really affect the veterinary services because we fall under essential services still meaning medical for animals yes but I mean people still love their animals, animals get sick everyday so our business is still going along pretty okay. In a case of emergencies like I mentioned the police they understand a medical emergency could be animal, human so we still fall in that emergency group that we can work after time if necessary and we could move around. And we have a good – the clinic has a good working relationship with the police department so we don’t have any issue but I would just say that it affects other people especially the ones that cater for food and so because due to the pandemic a lot of people lost their jobs and the food service industry is one of the essential ones so people could make a little livelihood. So in that regard I would say that is the part that affects mostly some people. Yes I do a clinic in San Pedro and on the islands and the bars, restaurants per se it affects them a lot especially with the tourist industry just trying to come back so it does affect them. I mean my point of view is that we are getting vaccinated the majority of people so we are supposed to start relax on some of the curfew, take it up a little at least and make the country start to work again because it’s something we have to live with.”

JB Wade is an employee at the Belmopan City Council who also spoke on the curfew situation. For the most part, he agreed with it but did cite a challenge.

JB Wade, Director of Sanitation, Event and Public Relation, Belmopan City Council: “I’m not certain if I can agree that there is any bads when it comes to it. The only negative thing that I can see that the curfew may be causing is the effect on our economy and businesses as far as being able to open and everything else. With regards overall I do believe that the curfew is necessary. This virus that we’re dealing with is a virus that is transmitted by humans and it’s through social interaction and so I do believe that until we get a country that is totally vaccinated that we can interact and socialize the way we normally want to do because socialization as far as humans are concerned is a natural thing that us humans would want to do so it is a difficult line that I believe the government is facing with right now and to try to balance both the economic aspect of this virus and the health aspect of it. So I do believe the curfew will assist in taking down the numbers as far as the COVID virus is concerned.

Our Senior Toledo Correspondent, Paul Mahung went into the villages of Sunday Wood, Silver Creek and others to see how those in the rural areas are coping. We first hear from one student of Forest Home Village who says he is struggling between work, school and the lack on internet access.

Resident: “The curfew hours have been affecting us in various aspects of our lives and as you know basically what I feel about this curfew is that right now I’m going to school for a Bachelor’s degree and I have to travel way from Barranco to Forest Home right now and then I didn’t have internet so I have to come to the UB campus here at Toledo which I still have a class at nine o’clock and I can’t stay for that class which it affects me in my work. So I had to leave early for me to reach home before nine and the other thing is that to me it doesn’t serve any purpose due to the fact that COVID cases are still going up which it is not reducing the numbers of COVID cases so it doesn’t serve any purpose to me.”

A mother of young children also spoke on the curfew issue saying she is happy about the curfew. Here is her explanation.

Resident: “I love the curfew. I hope it will keep so for another two months. The reason why I like it is because I have two boys and they learn to stay at home and abide with the rules of the mother and the stepfather. So I really and truly appreciate the nine o’clock curfew.”

Resident: “The way I see it well the curfew hours starting from nine o’clock is affecting our working details, our working times. Sometimes we finish work late and we just have to rush home and in other ways we have some farmers how I feel I have a farm and during that time sometimes during the night animals are eating our crops and sometimes you want to go and check the animals that are eating our crops but we can’t make a move because due to the curfew from nine o’clock and I don’t see any sense that this COVID case is still rising up and the numbers are still going up so to me it’s useless and it’s not working for the COVID cases.”