CoVid Chronicles: An Essential Worker’s Perspective

Here’s part 2 of my Covid-19 chronicles. Catch part 1 here.

I completed medical school last June so I’ve been a doctor in a Jamaican public hospital for 9 months now and counting. During that time I’ve seen a lot and gained a world of experience. When this current strain of coronavirus emerged, it sounded surreal BUT we all knew it was a matter of time before our country and region would be affected too given how highly virulent this pathogen is and how closely connected our world has become through the 21st century’s ease of travel. Subsequently, Jamaica recorded its first case on March 10. Every day since, or rather every hour, there’s something new. One minute it’s a public attraction closing its doors, the next it’s a restaurant, a factory, the schools, offices, then finally the country’s airports on March 21. At the time of publishing this post, the number of confirmed cases is at 26 and our nation has recorded 1 death.

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CoVid Chronicles: Staying Fine During Quarantine

Many people are stuck at home for days at a time during this pandemic and the biggest worry among the food-secure minority of the world is whether or not they’ll get fat from eating their quarantine snacks too quickly, and worse, the fact that their gymnasiums to battle the bulge are closed until further notice. Locally, the Jamaica Moves campaign has taken to social media with info-graphics and live streams replacing workout classes and people are still encouraged to go for solo runs in their communities once of course it’s safe to do so. Healthy meals, snacks and fresh produce can be delivered to your house once you can afford the delivery fees or order in large enough batches to get these fees waived. That being said, many people aren’t so vocal about the elephant in the room– maintaining your mental health while life as we know it is disrupted.

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Ten Things to Do at Devon House Besides Eat Ice-Cream

Devon House in St. Andrew, Jamaica makes the best ice-cream I’ve ever had in my life. International critics agree too, ranking the Devon House I-Scream parlour as serving one of the world’s top 10 best ice-creams. I recently relocated to a next corner of this beautiful island so Devon House is no longer as accessible for me, but I do crave a delicious patty and ice-cream scoop set against the lovely antique theme of red brick and cobblestones ever so often. That being said, there’s so much more to Devon House than delicious ice-cream and being home to Jamaica’s first coloured millionaire. Devon House has evolved into an exciting village with gourmet à la carte restaurants, a relaxing day spa, quaint souvenir shops, a first-rate bakery, clothing stores and interesting delicatessens which slip below the radar when we brand Devon House solely as a mansion and award-winning ice cream parlour. Thus, this week I decided to share 10 other ways to enjoy this beautiful property.

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Peter Tosh Museum, Saint Andrew

Peter Tosh is a platinum-selling Grammy award winning artiste and is one of the most talented reggae musicians to emerge from Jamaica. He got his claim to fame from the Wailers, a trio which also consisted of Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer. Peter Tosh was born in 1944 in Westmoreland, Jamaica’s most western parish and his life was brought to a brutal abrupt end in 1987 after a home break-in and robbery-turned-murder. Tosh had a rough start with an unstable family background, shuffled around from relative to relative based on circumstances but his musical talent emerged early despite the upheavals. Tosh is a self-taught guitarist and keyboardist who got his first real taste of music and performing when he moved to Trench Town as a teenager and met his fellow band-mates in the early 1960s. He taught them how to play, and they dabbled in ska and rocksteady before finding their calling in reggae, infusing their tunes with spiritual and political messages from their newfound conversion to the Rastafari faith.

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Jamaica Rum Festival 2020: Recap & Highlights

Time sure flies when you’re having rum, I mean, fun. 2019 was the inaugural staging of the Jamaica Rum Festival and social media would not let me live it down that I missed it! The pictures looked epic and even my friends and colleagues were speaking about it for days. Thus, I eagerly anticipated the second staging, knowing that the event would be here to stay given all the success it had in its first showcasing and I was not left disappointed. The Caribbean produces some of the world’s best rums and our history is intricately intertwined with the spirit. Rum production dates back from the 17th century on plantations where my enslaved African ancestors toiled to produce this lovely liquor from sugarcane and its by-product molasses, and rum became the region’s chief export product after muscovado sugar.

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The Art Exhibit in Kingston You Need to See: ‘Jamaica, Jamaica’

Jamaica, Jamaica!: How Jamaican Music Conquered the World‘ is the latest art exhibit being shown at the National Gallery of Jamaica. It opened on February 2 and closes on June 28, 2020. It’s one of the most exciting exhibits ever launched by this gallery and was aptly opened in February, locally observed as Reggae Month. This exhibit was previously shown at Philharmonie de Paris in 2017 and titled “The General” after the 1985 hit song by artiste Brigadier. Renamed Jamaica, Jamaica! after gracing local shores, this exhibit documents how the tiny Caribbean island of Jamaica was able to become a global musical force to be reckoned with. The capital city of Kingston and venue of the exhibition is recognized as the birthplace of six distinct musical genres which led to Kingston being designated official UNESCO creative city status in 2015.

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Eight Best Places to Watch A Jamaican Sunset

The sun rises and sets at roughly the same time in Jamaica each year, give and take a few minutes. This constant supply of golden sunshine is guaranteed because of our close proximity to the Equator at 18 degrees North, and is the reason behind the golden stripe on the Jamaican flag. That being said, we don’t always appreciate the beauty of the sunset in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, with buildings, billboards and rush hour traffic blocking the view. When you get a chance to slow down and admire a Jamaican sunset, here are the eight best places to do it.

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The 10 Most Instagrammable Places in Jamaica

I feel lucky to come from and live on this tiny rock in the Caribbean Sea: Jamrock, Jamdung, yaad, Jamaica. According to Bob Marley, Jamaica is a paradise but Jamaicans are the only ones who don’t know it, a rather unfortunate but true statement since poll after poll shows that many of our nation’s youth have their eyes set on living elsewhere and are disillusioned with the nation’s direction. Jamaica has many issues but one thing we aren’t short of is beauty. The island is so so beautiful from its verdant rugged mountains, its clear blue rivers, majestic waterfalls, stunning rainforests, idyllic beaches and sunsets so of course, we explore and take pictures of the country’s scenic spots in our spare time. So many other lovely spots could have made this list but after much deliberation and in no particular order, I’ve decided that these places deserve a space on Jamaica’s top 10 most Instagrammable spots.

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Trinidad in 5 Days: What to See, Eat & Do

I visited Trinidad and Tobago in December 2019 for four days and five nights. This is hardly enough time to properly see the island but I maximized every single second and left with my heart full, my taste-buds satisfied and my eyes happy. In the previous three posts, I documented the destinations I visited but glossed over details like the food and culture. This post will tie it all together and concludes my four-part Trinidad series, JUST in time for Trinidad Carnival 2020! In between J’Ouvert, Carnival Tuesday, Panorama and all the fetes, read on for how to enjoy the best of the country’s food, culture, natural landscape and built environment if you have only five days. Feel free to mix and match to create a personalized itinerary that suits your schedule and preferences.

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Konoko Falls, Saint Ann

Konoko Falls is a tourist attraction nestled in the hilly outskirts of popular resort town Ocho Rios. The Arawakan word for rainforest, konoko, lends its name to this 600-feet cascading waterfall and garden, formerly known as the Mahoe Falls and Coyaba Gardens; coyaba is also an Arawakan word meaning heaven. Both names are fitting, even more so given that Taino artefacts have been found here, suggesting that the area was once a settlement.

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