National Security Minister Stuart Young. NICOLE DRAYTON
Charles Kong Kong

With Christmas just five days away, the Sunday Guardian asked some prominent people in T&T how they were going to celebrate Christmas amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the holiday season upon us, can you say if it’s business as usual in terms of your holiday traditions? Are you breaking any old customs to keep with the new normal?

Minister of Social Development and Family Services, Donna Cox:

Senator Donna Cox, Minister of Social Development.

This year has been an unusual and tough one for all of us. With regards to my usual holiday traditions, it cannot be business as usual. I will be spending a quiet Christmas with my mom who is a high-risk case with regards to COVID-19. My movements will be limited and also will be having no visitors this Christmas. Traditionally, I will hang out with friends and family but this year this will not be at the level I am accustomed to. I have been reaching out and assisting vulnerable people who have been affected by the pandemic. I intend to do so throughout the season.

I don’t make resolutions but I usually thank God for His goodness towards me and for bringing me thus far at the end of every year. My prayer is always for His perfect will to be accomplished in my life in the coming year. So for 2021, I want to be in the perfect will of the Lord. Traditionally I go to church on Old Year’s night, I intend to do so this year once I am able to.

Former medical chief of staff at the Mt Hope Women’s Hospital, Dr Karen Sohan-Seenath:

Dr Karen Sohan-Seenath

It is the first time in 20 years that I will not be with my children for Christmas. The two older ones attend University in Florida and because of the repatriation policy, my husband and I have made the decision that I will stay in Trinidad while they stay in Florida. After having to sue the Government for an exemption and then being assigned to a state quarantine facility which violated public health guidelines, I am unable to go through this again.

I will continue to fight for the rights of citizens stranded abroad. If COVID-19 positive patients who are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic can quarantine at home, returning nationals with a negative PCR can certainly be afforded the same.

National Security Minister Stuart Young:

My holiday season is not one that was business as usual. I have been cautious due to the presence of COVID-19 and changed the way I would usually operate this year. I have made quite a few changes and avoided gatherings. I have tried to play my part.