If you think the pandemic made things difficult, dealing with a lockdown has probably made going about your day feel impossible.
On top of 7pm curfews, we have three no movement days to contend with. There’s not much time to do anything, but life goes on and there’s still so much to do. So, we’ve been forced to do some serious planning for the day.
I’m not usually one to plan my day to the T. I usually just have an idea of what I need to do and then I leave the house to do it. Now, I have time to plan everything. I have to time the traffic, what time places close and if I should go early or later to not land in long lines or crowds.
This pandemic and lockdowns have really turned me into a planner and I’m not too sure how I feel about it.
I mean, I don’t mind being a planner but the limited days, the traffic and the crowds have me against the ropes.
During a lockdown we only have 2 ½ days to do business
2 ½ days is never enough time to do anything, especially in Jamaica where business places aren’t always very efficient and organized.
People have a number of different things they need to do during the week. Five days were sometimes not enough, so imagine that time being cut in half, especially with the curfew where some places close a bit earlier than usual.
With Monday, Tuesday and half of Friday being out of the picture time is extremely limited. Appointment scheduling may be affected, people who could usually slip out from their job to get other business done may no longer have that luxury due to the intensity of their own job, and people who had days off to get things done on these days are affected.
Lockdown traffic puts you at a literal stand-still
Traffic was already bad in Jamaica. But with the limited days to get things done and the curfew, it’s been terrible.
If you don’t give yourself an hour…or two, you’ll definitely be late. Especially if it’s on a Wednesday – the first day after the lockdown – and on Friday – the regular business day of the week. So, you may have to prepare earlier or even wake up a little earlier to start your day.
Just last week, on both days I took a chance to brave it outside. I sat in stand-still traffic for hours. At least three hours for one day and about two hours on another of those days. The first day I was a bit at fault because I didn’t think about the traffic even though it wasn’t the usual peak hour setup. The second day I prepared but still got caught in traffic that barely moved.
The bottom line is the traffic is bad. And being slowed down for 2 or 3 hours is no fun.
You have to plan for the crowds
My least favourite part about the lock down is the crowds – and there are crowds literally everywhere!
If you think you’re pressed for time, then so is everyone else. Everyone is trying to get as much out of their short week as possible, so there are crowds everywhere. Banks, tax offices, supermarkets, fast food chains. Everywhere you can think of has a long line or bundle.
The crowds make everything take two times longer than they usually do. And with limited time it feels like you’re racing against the clock to do basic tasks.
If you know the peak hours for certain business places you can try to avoid doing business at those times. But some places have peak hours from opening to closing time. So, for now you may have to live with the fact that your day could end up being dedicated to a single task.
The curfews alone were never fun for me. I already felt like my time was too limited to do the things I wanted to do. Then the lockdowns came along and made me miss just having seven days of curfews.
I never thought I’d miss an 8 pm curfew, but here I am.