Being stuck at home, when usually there is so much to do, can be such a drag. So, for my last assignment of my Feature Writing Class, I decided to share how Covid 19 has affected me as a millennial.

We are doing as we are told and staying indoors, because this will help to stop the spread of Covid 19 or everyone’s favourite, Corona virus. (insert Cardi Bs voice).

We are told to do this so that those who are high risk, specifically, the elderly and those with health complications may not become infected.

But somewhere along the lines of securing those at risk, many people who are in my age range, that is early 20s to mid-30s and with similar circumstance, seem to have been forgotten. Our pockets, minds and relationships health are high risk too, and even more now, because of Madame Corona.

It is now day 40 that I have been in quarantine.

Why is it such a long time when the national lock-down in Barbados has only been officially 28 days?

Well I work in a restaurant and go to school.

So, when work got thrown out the window, and school soon followed, I have no reason to be out and about. Many of us did not make the cut to be deemed essential workers, and because of this we are at home now without work or a social life wondering, what is up man!?

Daily I am bombarded with information on the pandemics development, and everyday, the feeling of no end in sight, tags along with me, to my many trips to the refrigerator. Seeing the same cream walls and white tiled floor makes my mind go fuzzy, the illusion of time being stopped and is infinite, has been created.

Never have I ever felt as if I have had so much time on my hands, yet with nothing to do!

Never have I felt so hopeless either.

Within the past 40 days, life has stopped for me and almost 5000+ service workers in my island, most of them, like me, are single people living 1 weekly pay cheque to another. Yes, our Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, has said that they are provisions in place for us at risk financially, our National Insurance Scheme (N.I.S), is to supply us with benefits once applicable, but what about our mental, what about our social?

Before the arrival of Miss Corona, as she is now pegged, waves were being made in the social and financial aspect of my life, and in the lives of many that I know. For me, as a female in her early 20s, I deemed these waves vital to my development as an interdependent individual.

Now the term interdependent and not independent is used because, as this pandemic rages on and stamps her authority in many “independent states”. It has shown me, and the world over, just how connected, and dependent we are as humans, and just how much we need the interaction of another in some way to survive.

My island Barbados does not boast about our immense natural resources, we are not as rich with them as some of our sister nations, like Guyana and Jamaica, who’s natural resources are endless.

Our main resource is our people and our ability to bring comfort and show hospitality.

Men grilling freshly caught fish at the weekly Oistins fish fry

So, with our service industry at home sitting watching Netflix and getting annoyed about the fact that they just ate, and are hungry again, and completely dismayed at the fact that Aunty Mia has stopped the Rum, there has been a stand still on the island.

And so, sits a sizable amount of our countries recently revived economy.

The standstill extends financially and socially into the lives of many, and that sense of “independence” for many my age is lost.

How it impacts my generation

Many of us have gone to school, trained in many aspects of the service industry, be it managing a restaurant, working as a bartender, or even working as a barber, we have all put in the work and given the effort. We have taken the talks from the baby boomers and the “smart” comments from generation X, to now be stuck in a hole that seems to be never ending.

And alas, we are the generation that is going to be greatly affected in the very near future.

How the Covid 19 virus is affecting Millennials. The Table.

We are the ones who were on the path to now state our independence, show our worth in society, create strong bonds with self and family and make a better meaning for tomorrow.

But how can we do that when we are stuck in a space that does not determine an outcome for tomorrow and is filled with eclipse biscuit crumbs?

A photo of me partaking my one of my favorite pass times.

I for one believe that better is coming, and at the end of it all we will be better for it, but my friends think I am “loco” (mad).

They cannot fathom how our generation will be OK after all of this. When we are either dealing with feeling depressed or having vivid dreams at night that make absolutely no sense.

Many believe that it is going to go to take a ride on the crazy train before it even begins to remotely be like how it was before.


And truly that is understandable, simply because none of us, and none of those with the powers to be have experienced a pandemic before. We have watched them happen in movies, like World War Z and Contagion, but never did we think, that by doing the exact same things as the movies, that we would all be stuck at home today.

A scene from the movie Contagion.

Nah man!

So, this brings us back to the big “whoa”question, what about someone like me who lives alone, does both school and work part time, survives on a weekly wage, and is now stuck at home with neither?

I will tell you what about it…

It sucks!

Cause every time I think about whether I want to wear my comfortable underwear or my “cute girl undies” I think of my friend Kiara saying, “comfort in this time girl comfort”.

A cute photo of my friend/inner voice,Kiara.

And that drives me nuts!

Reason being, 40 days ago I knew which underwear to wear because I had a goal in mind. Now, my only goal is to finish my assignments for school, and sulk about Netflix needing to add more series, and try to forget about how my bank account is not going to be able to accommodate my pass time, when the next payment date arrives.

How it is affecting the development of my peers.

I have a friend that I talk to ever so often. And when I told him I was writing on how I am being affected as a millennial in this pandemic, he started to talk about his experiences as well.

He spoke on the fact that his gym life, which is something that helped him to over-come some self-esteem issues, will be interrupted.

Because of this, he is now lacking in motivation to even work out, as going to the gym assisted in his overall personal development.

He also talked about the fact that he used his work as a bartender, to aid as well, in him becoming a better social animal.

But now, he is faced with uncertain truths about what will happen to his income. Unsure of what will happen his ability to nurture and develop the mental space that he was able to, while living on his own.

But now, he is faced with uncertain truths about what will happen to his income. Unsure of what will happen his ability to nurture and develop the mental space that he was able to, while living on his own.

The powers to be, so far, have spoken little on what type of outcome someone like him may have during this time. Even though him, an many alike, were a driving force in the country up until 40 days ago. How do you ensure that his development continues to take place, if his life has now changed drastically?

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has constantly reminded the world that this pandemic can be stressful on many.

This image has been endorsed by the Center for Disease Control

Not only with the fear of the virus itself, but with a change in practices and routine. They said that it could include but not be limited to, changes in sleep, eating patterns, and a lack of concentration.

Unfortunately, all things that my friends and I constantly rant about over Whats App or Instagram.

They also give a solution, but the thing is, it is all stuff that we already do, on a regular basis, either because it is the “in” thing to do, or because it’s a choice we made for personal development.

So, they told you to meditate, to allow yourself to find your centre I guess, eat balanced meals, and try to stay as healthy mentally and physically.

Well to the CDC, I meditate every day, but there is only so much peace that most of us can give without social interaction.

And to the eating of balanced meals…

It is 40 days since I have applied for financial assistance, and I have yet to receive any of the said “support” from the N.I.S.

What will happen when I have completely depleted my savings?

How am I to effectively remain in a healthy state of mind when I am not even sure how I will adequately fuel my body?

And this is not a plight only for me and my peers here in Barbados, but my peers internationally speak the same language as me right now.

The language of uncertainty.

Uncertain about when you will be able to subsidies yourself again.

Uncertain of when that time comes if there will be enough supplies and food stuff that you need available, considering the crazy rush that has been abounding the supermarkets for the past 5 weeks.

Uncertain of how you will proceed when the all clear is given after the pandemic.

Just a large sea of uncertainty.

I realised this commonality, in more than one video that I thought I was wasting time watching on YouTube, not knowing they would be the base for why I would write this.

The impact on service workers internationally.

I had stumbled across a video from CNN, which gave me insight into how other restaurant workers in other countries, living pay cheque to pay cheque or in bossa nova civic clubs case, tip jar to tip jar, are coping and were feeling the same thing as I was.

I felt it when one of the workers said she feels hopeless.

New York nightlife shut down. Now its workers need help: Video from CNN Business

Christiane Amanpour helped to highlight that it is truly affecting a lot of us single people with service jobs tremendously.

In her pbs feature Amanpour & Friends, Christiane interviewed Paul van Zyl, co-founder of London’s Conduit Club. During the feature on Covid 19’s impact on the hospitality industry, he spoke on the measures that the British government put into place, to ensure that those at risk financially would be able to cope until the pandemic is over. He is a small business owner in the service industry in England with a lot of uncertainty, but he said he had hope that the measure the government put in place will benefit him and his works at the end of all of this.

What a lot of us forget, is that most small business owners live the same weekly pay cheque to pay cheque. Some of them even live, service to service.

And they are some of the main ones at risk financially and socially as they have themselves to think of, their staff, if the company can boast that much, and the upkeep of the company itself.

But with everyone who is not deemed essential being told to shut up shop and stay at home, a large percent of those receiving that message are small business owners.

How it has impacted small business owners in Barbados

I regularly go to lime in the barbershop, it has been a pastime of mine from my teenage years. This act assisted in me developing my social skills, especially my conflict resolution ones, so when I realised that the barbershop did not make it to the list of essential workers, I became worried. Not for myself, but for the barbers who run a lucrative business from the shop.

What would their outcome be?

One, told me that not being able to ply his trade is affecting many aspects of his life. And it has put him in an uncomfortable place, a place he never knew before and never wishes to go back. Joe*said that the lock-down has significantly affected his home life, his relationship with his “girl”, and the way he was able to treat his friends.

*some names have been changed to allow anonymity*

Joe also talked how uncertain he was about the assistance from the government, as his N.I.S contributions may not be adequate to make an impact to gain subsidies. So, what avenue will he be able to take, when it is time for him to return to work after the lock-down.

yuh need the start up again”.

(Joe spoke in heavy Barbadian dialect, this translates to, “you need the start-up”.)

The proposed stimulus packages that the Barbados government is offering

I also spoke to one of my work colleagues that runs a lucrative side business from her home, to help “make up”, what she earns from the restaurant we both work at. In Barbados, this is commonplace for many under the age of 40. As many of us minimum wage workers cannot effectively sustain ourselves, and in her case, a growing family, on just 1 weekly income.

She said that she does not mind the initial lock-down, as not having to leave home is greatly appreciated.

But it is the fact that the ban on Rum has stopped her ability to carry on with her side business, as she sells rum punch of all flavors and distributes them island wide.

“Just being at home doing nothing at all…I don’t mind the not going anywhere, it’s just there is no alternative for working, and I can’t even produce rum punch. Cuz I’m not allowed to buy rum.”

Locally made rum punch is a delicacy on the island. This one is made by my colleague Gina Dupaul for GIGIS Rum punch.

“I literally have nothing to do but sleep and cook”

How will she be able to sustain her side hustle after this if she cannot make money during this time to sustain it?

So what now?

In the words of Joe, it is true, we will need the start up again. We will need that boost of confidence, that injection of monetary help to push us up a hill that is too steep to bare alone.

After struggling for so long to get our foot in the door, doing what we can to be independent and hardworking. We have created new bonds,extended our interpretation of love and started new practices to become the best version of ourselves. We have now been hit by an unprecedented foe, with no real guidance as to what to do or when the fight will end.

But…we are to proceed as normal with certain aspects of our lives. How can we do that when one of the main aspects is gone?

We have lost our income, our livelihood and truthfully a large bit of ourselves.

However,we can take comfort in one thing, which is, we are all in this together, doing what we can in our respective countries, adhering to the solutions to fight this pandemic, sticking it out and praying for the best.

I just hope at the end of it all, in all of my glory, sitting here writing this while still smelling like the breadfruit and fried fish I just ate for dinner, that I will eventually lose the feeling of being forgotten.