For some households and businesses Christmas is cancelled for 2020, and the culprit is Covid-19. Traditionally, the units in the Ministry of National Security would have a luncheon accommodating majority of its officers. For the Belize Coast Guard, they will try to make it Christmas for the men and women in the unit.
Gregory Soberanis, Acting Commandant, Belize Coast Guard: “The tradition continues. The tradition remains. The Christmas lunch is something that the men and women look forward to. While the numbers will definitely need to be decreased never the less it is something that we still want to do for the men and women in the Coast Guard. It is a festive time for the sailors. We have a festive lunch as you rightly said where we come together and traditionally it is a time where we are able to demonstrate our appreciation and respect for the work and service that our sailors in the Coast Guard context that our sailors have contributed and provided to maritime safety and security throughout the year and this is where the officers including myself serve the men and women in the Coast Guard as a demonstration of our respect and appreciation for them. So the numbers will decrease this year however we’re still going to have our Christmas lunch and one of the things that they look forward to. You know we have the Sea Man award, the Cockswain Award, the Engineer Award so all these awards we’re still gonna have those awards given out to those who have earned the right for that plaque and the honor of saying “I’m the sea man of the year. And really and truly while we honor the sailor who are going to receive these awards I want to say that really and truly we also honor their families. Many times we look at the Coast Guard, even the BDF, and we see soldiers, sailors working hard but let me tell you that for us as the Coast Guard we recognize the value of that wife or that husband at home who has to take care of the kids and do all those admin duties at home and really and truly we salute them as well. And so I take this time to say to the families of the Coast Guard members that we appreciate and value the support that you give to our sailors we know that it is not easy; as challenging as it is for our sailors who have to go out at sea and put their lives at risk for the defence and security of this country we know that the families are at home facing their own challenges and their own risk at home and for that we salute them, we honor them and we recognize them.”
As for the soldiers of the Belize Defence Force the Commander made no promises attributing the situation to social distancing.
Brig. Gen. Steven Ortega, Commander, Belize Defence Force: “COVID restrictions have really curtailed I guess the entire country in terms of gathering and so our soldiers understand that I mean we’re in this fight head first and we’re fighting through and so we understand the limitations on what needs to happen for the country to improve and so the soldiers understand that yes we can’t gather but we’ll still provide the lunch and stuff like that that they need so they will get their lunch it just won’t be as a nice big family gathering that we normally have.”