My birthday in quarantine

Letters to the Editor

My birthday in quarantine

Friday, May 29, 2020

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Dear Editor,

My birthday was Tuesday, May 26, but my friends decided to have a virtual celebration via WhatsApp video on Saturday, May 23, the night of the Verzuz clash between Beenie Man and Bounty Killer, and it was epic! They couldn't have selected a more appropriate night.

For a moment I didn't even remember anything about quarantine, where I am, or COVID-19, I just wanted to soak up the moment. I couldn't have asked for a better birthday in 2020, knowing that we couldn't have met together physically to celebrate.

I am quarantined at Three Finger Jack Hotel in St Thomas, while my four friends — Kristen, Tricia, Stacey, and Raymond — were either jogging, driving, or at home. Our aim was to start the birthday celebration at 7:00 pm, but we started later when all were settled at home.

Earlier that evening, I was surprised with a cake, a non-alcoholic wine, a wine glass, and candles at my room. I collected them and went straight to the balcony, right where I waved to my friends. I could see them looking through the fencing at the security post. I couldn't hold it; I said bye and went back to the room and cried, tears of joy. My friends gave me all I needed to make a birthday possible in quarantine.

For the night, Raymond had the clash playing in his background and so we tuned in. I lit my candles, they sang me “Happy birthday”, I made two wishes, blew out the candles, cut my cake, ate a piece, then had a glass of wine. We danced, chatted, and reminisced on our time at Mona School of Business and Management where we all met in 2012. We also sang our favourite selections from Beenie Man and Bounty Killer, and it was exciting.

As rightly said by Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange, “The clash erased any possible doubt that Jamaica is the entertainment capital of the world, and that Jamaica's music is the most powerful music in the world.”

I am grateful that the clash happened at this time and especially during the time of my birthday.

The clash brought back many memories of our teens and young adult years. Here I thought that my birthday in quarantine was an injustice. To my surprise, I got a birthday that we will talk about for years. I also made wishes over lit candles for the first time. The clash not only brought over 500,000 people together, it brought unity, hope and peace.

Thank God for quarantine! I can't believe I just said that, but, truth be told, had I not been there I wouldn't have had such an exciting birthday.

I would also like to thank the prime minister, foreign affairs minister and health minister for taking me home. Also, the doctors, nurses, delivery men, security officers, and attendants at Three Finger Jack Hotel, who made me feel extra special for my birthday.

My quarantine experience is great! Thank you for the clash, Jamaica; and thank you my friends!

MM

St Thomas


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