“The wave pushing me back in the water,” protested five-year-old Kymani Francis as his grandfather urged him to come out of the water at Flower Pot beach, Pointe-a-Pierre.
Splashing, jumping, diving and swimming, the five-year-old seemed as though he was making up for the months away from the beach. Kymani and his grandfather Bernel Pegus were among several people who flocked to the beach yesterday on the first day that the ban was lifted by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. The closure of beaches was among several measures meant to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The boy made friends with Judah Edwards, 7, who came to the beach with his relatives to be baptised. They frolicked in the water and played in the sand.
“I am overwhelmed. It is a long time I have been waiting and I am so glad I come here with my grandson and we feel great about it,” said Pegus.
Pegus was lucky to have an understanding boss who gave him time off to take his grandson to the beach.
But Pegus believes it was a bad decision to close the beaches, in the first place.
“I grew up in the sea. I grew up in Moruga and any time we sick we use the sea as a medicine, as a form of healing back our body. The beaches could have stayed open and I think it would have helped with the numbers (COVID-19 cases) definitely,” Pegus said. He was also not pleased with the 5 am to noon time.
“I am against restrictions because restrictions will create backlog and backlog will definitely be used to propel the COVID,” he added.
Meanwhile, Claxton Bay resident Wesley Mitchell who has a lung condition was relieved that beaches were reopened and he had no issue with the restrictions. He said he swims as a form of therapy and exercise.
Meanwhile, Judah Edwards, four of his family members and another person were baptised in the sea. Judah’s sister Nicole Armoogan, 22, said they have been waiting for months to be baptised.
“I feel relieved and happy,” said Armoogam.
And at a beach off Lady Hailes Avenue in San Fernando, Rudian Morren was thankful to be back in the sea again.
“This is a Godsend when I hear they opening back up the beaches,” he added.
Morren said every morning he would go for a walk and then bathe in the sea before returning to his home. Another sea bather Ian Atkinson said the re-opening of the beaches was long overdue.
“This is terrific. You take a sea bath, start day right.”
He had no issue with the opening hours.
“They always say eat little and live long. We appreciative of the small thing we get to go on the beach.”
Jaipersad Bisram, of Debe, said he would visit the beach regularly as a form of recreation and exercise.
“I feel very good,” he added.
In announcing the reopening of beaches on Saturday, the Prime Minister urged the population to be responsible and not gather at the beaches.
He said consumption of alcohol, loud music and partying would not be allowed. Beachgoers must wear their masks once they are not in the water.