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Trinidad-born Dr Natalie Doyon, will be spending a quiet Christmas in the UK as parts of the country go into another COVID lockdown

T&T nationals who are now residing in the United Kingdom are hunkering down for a quiet Christmas as the country entered another lockdown in response to the discovery of a new, more easily transmissible variant of COVID-19 circulating in that country.

“People were so geared up to have that time with family, especially since March,” Dr Natalie Doyon told Guardian Media yesterday.

She was born in Port-of-Spain and grew up in Central Trinidad before moving to the UK 18 years ago.

“(It’s) all round a sad time but we need to do what is right and be safe rather than be sorry.”

She typically returns to Trinidad to spend time with her family around the Christmas holidays but this year she would be celebrating it with her husband and children (aged two and four) in the UK one day early.

“Because we can’t travel either to Europe or Trinidad, for us it’s going to be very simple and quiet at home. The fact that I have to be on call for emergencies on Christmas day means that its a double whammy for me. The day is out anyhow. So we will do Christmas for the kids the day before because they may not be able to tell the difference and make the best of a bad situation,” she said.

Aurora Herrera has been in the UK for the past four years reading for a PhD in Journalism and usually spends her Christmas at home in East Trinidad with her family having “a Trini Christmas.” Now, she said, she’s going to spend it with one of her best friends and try to recreate it.

“Hopefully I’m going to make it to see one of my Trinidadian best friends that lives here and we are planning to eat plenty fruitcake and drink some nice punch de creme and just listen to some parang and just do as much as we can to feel like we are back home with our families,” she said.

“We just need to…hunker down and just try as best as we can to keep the faith that things would work out and that we’ll be okay.”

Tobago-born Tricia George told Guardian Media that some members of the diaspora were even opting for a virtual Christmas celebration.

“People, if they are so minded, they can still do it virtually. Because during the very first lockdown, we had massive parties virtually.”

World-renowned soprano opera singer Anne Fridal is also expecting a quiet Christmas.

She moved to the UK from T&T almost 60 years ago and would typically be performing at concerts and theatres around the world or in her birth country at this point in the year.

“I’m just trying to do the best I can to stay healthy and wear my mask everywhere I go, social distance, wash hands,” she said.