BVI News

‘Supermarket lines worse than after 2017 hurricanes’

By Kamal Haynes, BVI News Staff

The opening day (April 2) of government’s relaxed curfew period — which saw thousands of persons flocking local supermarkets — has been described as being worse than the state of affairs immediately after hurricanes Irma and Maria.

This is according to a male Belle Vue resident who told BVI News that he had never witnessed lines as long as they were at RiteWay Food Market in Pasea Estate on Thursday, April 2.

Equally long queues were observed on Friday, April 3 and are expected on Saturday. 

“This is the worst I have even seen the lines here at Rite Way — much worse than the lines I remember seeing following the 2017 hurricanes. I have been here since after 8 this morning. Four hours have gone and I’m not even by the Scotiabank ATM as yet. It is simply outrageous,” said the Belle Vue resident who opted to remain anonymous.

“I have my family at home waiting on me with the expectation that I would’ve been back home way before midday, now I’m here not sure what time I can get back to them by,” added the noticeably concerned shopper who is part of the first of three groups who are permitted outdoors to access essential goods and services before the BVI enters 14 days of 24-hour lockdown.

Lines are unbelievable

BVI News also spoke to a number of other residents who described their experience waiting in lines as ‘unbelievable’.

A female Baughers Bay resident who said she is employed as a Customer Service Representative stated: “I was not expecting the lines to be as long as they were today at all. I have been here from since 8:30 this morning — only managed to eat breakfast. It’s now after 4 pm and I’m only now able to start my shopping. This is unbelievable.”

“I collected my number from the police officers after 9 o’clock and had been in out of my car several times only to realise my number was not even close to being called. But thank God that is over with finally and I am here now getting what I need for my family and I,” she further said.

Disorganised! Shoppers should get limited time in stores

One Sea Cow’s Bay resident who said she waited in line for more than seven hours before getting to shop, offered a suggestion that she believes will assist in the quicker flow of shoppers.

She said: “I think it was a bit unorganised and they were not efficient and I think what they needed to do is to put a time limit as much as possible on the batch of people who are in there shopping at the time. By doing that, you can then better manage what time they finish in terms of cut off by the curfew time.”

The final day for government’s relaxed, limited and managed curfew will be on Saturday, April 5 and is expected to see residents with surnames ‘S’ through to ‘Z’ out to procure their share of essential goods and services.

Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

45 Comments

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  1. so says:

    Botched it. Wasted 6 days of quarantine and now probably spread the virus like a wildfire after this weekends shopping circus.

    Like 63
    Dislike 4
    • @so says:

      Yup. This reminds me of the Keystone Cops. All this is a sign of inability to govern. In times of disaster true leaders shine are there are no leaders whatsoever including the Governor in the BVI. A more sensible solution would have been allowing the grocery stores and pharmacy’s to remain open everyday for a few hours each day. Set strict guidelines as to who can be out and about and have checkpoints. Those that break the curfew are carted off to an isolation location. Churches come to mind. This way those that shouldn’t be out will be isolated eating bread and peanut butter for 2 weeks but saving their neighbors and families. What has been done by the government is a shit show without thought. It doesn’t take much to lead. Look at what other countries are doing and follow. Your leaders have no ability to lead the way. They can hardly follow.

      Like 36
      Dislike 11
    • Chaossss says:

      And they did the poor seniors dirty…why would you set a time for seniors, but still every Tom,Dick and Harry of ALL AGES were there in the line from 6-8am? I felt bad for them when I heard a few seniors share their experiences. People have become so selfish in this world SMH

      Like 36
      • I know says:

        I did two seniors in my village grocery shopping. I felt so bad for them because their is no way they could have handled the crowds.

        Like 20
        Dislike 2
        • To I know says:

          Wow! I can’t believe some @ $ $ disliked your comment. Anyway, it’s good that you helped…wish there were more kind hearted people like you.

          Like 9
          Dislike 1
    • Hot Hot says:

      @So, the hot sun kill it.

      Like 3
      Dislike 10
      • @Hot hot says:

        So you’re a Dr, researcher and ditch digger all rolled into one. The hot sun is killing the virus? Hmmmm. So call up Fahie and tell him that everyone should lie naked on the beaches and streets from sun up to sundown for the next 14 days so that the sun and heat will kill the virus. Better than staying inside. Maybe you know the cure.

        Like 15
      • @ Hot Hot says:

        Exposing yourself to the sun or to temperatures higher than 25C degrees DOES NOT prevent the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

        You can catch COVID-19, no matter how sunny or hot the weather is. Countries with hot weather have reported cases of COVID-19. To protect yourself, make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

        https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters

      • @Hot hot says:

        Typical island moron. Temperature needs to be 140 degrees to kill the virus. Only place that that may happen is in your useless brain as it overworks to think.

        Like 17
        Dislike 2
    • Reconsider says:

      Allow the supermarkets to deliver during the shut down period.

      Like 25
      Dislike 1
    • Albion says:

      100% agree. Huge mismanagement by the Government; they have made the situation so much worse than if they simply hadn’t done anything at all. We know that there are asymptomatic cases in the community, and it will spread like wildfire after this complete debacle.

      Like 15
      Dislike 1
      • @Albion says:

        100% Disagree.

        Huge disorder and breaking of curfew by most people who have made the situation so much worse than if they simply had FOLLOW THE RULES.

        We know that there are asymptomatic cases in the community, and it could spread like wildfire after this complete debacle CAUSED BY SELFISH PEOPLE.

      • Nope says:

        Each establishment needed to ensure that they had the proper control mechanisms in place to execute what was ordered down. This include the Police.

    • EU Citizen says:

      Maybe it’s an intentional culling of the weak part of the population…

      Like 5
      Dislike 4
  2. Windy says:

    I have a feeling those shopping Saturday are in for a bad surprise. What market will stock up on perishables when they’re going to be shut down for 2 weeks ?

    Like 19
    Dislike 1
  3. ? says:

    The problem is that people whose name does not fall on the given days are their shopping and the police office are not asking for your id and that is not right.

    Like 44
    Dislike 1
    • @? says:

      They boldly broadcasting on Facebook they’re going regardless of their surname.

      They have it for a joke but then again even those who are supposed to enforce the laws sidestep it.

  4. 8th District Gyal says:

    I agree with the time limit. Also, smaller mom and pop stores should be open to help ease the pandemonium…

    Like 20
    Dislike 2
  5. Call me crazy if you want says:

    Most of the people is food gouging also.

    Like 16
    Dislike 2
  6. Really? says:

    If you didn’t have Covid 19 before the grocery shopping frenzy you probably have it now! Soooooo stupid. Social distancing is the only way to get on top of this…..now you’re all just going to be sick during your hard curfew! The community spread is out there!

    Like 31
    Dislike 2
    • What says:

      No we will all be getting sick just as the lockdown is over .. many with no symptoms and even then the virus can spread . I fear the last two days may wind up killing a lot of us because there are too many selfish and ignorant people out there . The police , with few exceptions , are cowardly to enforce anything here at all and I put the blame squarely on the shoulders of our pathetic Police Chief … useless . Where were you these days. Dust off that pretty white shirt and get out there and at least PRETEND you give a damn or have the guts to enforce something. Same for the Govt officials . Get your collective asses out there and dont be afraid to arrest someone who might be a relative . The alternative is … people die .

      Like 25
      Dislike 1
    • @ Really says:

      Well pray the hot sun that they were in stopped it in its track.

      Like 1
      Dislike 3
  7. :) says:

    The main difference is after Irma we really needed the goods because a lot of homes were damaged and food lost in the damage. A lot of this is mainly stupidity. Some people shop every week out of habit and there was no need to shop again but I think 14 days sounds a lot more scary than it is and people are acting irrational.
    In the smaller neighbourhood stores the idiots are in the lines bumper to bumper as if they have never heard about the 6 feet distance.

    Like 22
    Dislike 1
    • Mick says:

      Most probably you are correct in regard to shoppers that do their shopping daily. Now here is an idea in our digital age. This could [and should] become the new norm. Call your market[s] and have them deliver, just like the ‘Big Boys’ do that have Restaurants, offshore as well as locally on Tortola. Here’s the rub. You have got to really work your budget [homelife] and figure out what is important for a week. Same goes for medical. My hope that a young local business person will look seriously at this opportunity and seize the moment. There are a number of serious investors that would look at this. But you need a good reference and a track record.

  8. Quiet Warrior says:

    It is no surprise that the lines are long. This is an unprecedented situation, one that probably most, if not all, residents have never experienced.Additionally, most residents have been on “locked down” for 6 days and starting Saturday evening they will undergo another 14 days. The future is uncertain so residents are panicking due to fear, uncertainty…..etc and are stocking up for their two week “lock down.” Shopping by first letter of surname (title) was a good start. However, the security personnel must do a 100% checks of identification. Additionally, shoppers must consider other shoppers by getting in and swiftly out of stores. Social distancing/physical distancing is important. But suggest government let supermarkets open Monday-Saturday from 7:00 A.M. to 12:00 noon.

    Like 18
    Dislike 1
  9. Agree says:

    I agree with so .. it was a waste of time locking us down 24hrs for a week and then let us out for 2 days to shop for 2 weeks lock down again .All the supermarkets were over crowded with everyone on top of each other so we back to square 1.i think we are worst off now

    Like 19
  10. less frustration says:

    The stores could have given out numbers and then kept posting on a screen outside, and on a web site the number they were up to, or you could text and get an automatic text back saying the number if you didn’t have data. Then you would be able to stay in the shade, social distance, get on with other chores in the short time allowed and everyone would be less frustrated.

    They gonna isolate us again in 16 (actually 19) days, bet you.

    Like 14
    • @home says:

      The ppl needed to govern their self in regard to shopping because the government, police some store owner and shopper did not protect each other by social distancing, hopefully you don’t get more cases no damage control, what was the purpose of this curfew when you are going into another lockdown, with such a shit show, ppl let the government feed you because this shit didn’t work and lost of life could have happened from these poor judgment of cutting this timeframes to close with such a large percentage of ppl shopping in a small window of time, I see another lockdown coming be prepared, social distancing is not going to kill you, Covid-19 his many friends willfully, willingly to join the thousands that has lost their battle in this war around the world.

  11. WE Man says:

    In many countries around the world they have a police force, in the BVI we have a bunch of Domino players.

    Like 36
  12. Seriously says:

    I asked myself what would I have done if I had to make the call as Premier. I Am glad that I didn’t have to as well as most of you chatting nonsense.
    We are the cure. We are responsible for keeping the distance. I agree that the police didn’t impress me at all.
    The lines in Disneyland are just as long. Cultivate yo own food, Stay calm and shop,or Stay home and shut yo mouth.

    Like 9
    Dislike 5
  13. Monopoly says:

    This what happens when you almost have a monopoly on the supply of food in the BVI. Very little outlets thus everyone rushing to the few places available. How many wholesale businesses are in the BVI? When this thing is over there are so many thing we need to rethink with regard to how we organize our societies. Currently the food business is virtually the only business where revenue is flowing. Where are those revenues going? Certainly not into the small non-existent mom and pop businesses and circulating in the economy but rather in the hand of the few, the rich who hoard the monies in off-shore accounts.

    Like 8
    Dislike 3
  14. 007 says:

    People don’t care about social distancing they just want to be as close to the cashiers as possible. These shopping days may have been corona’s best friend. I haven’t been to the big 3 supermarkets but I got everything I needed and only spent a few minutes waiting. Some people still shopping with the same mentality that they had before the pandemic. Go one store because it’s 30 cents cheaper for product A then go another store for product B because it’s 50cents cheaper. Then they end up spending the whole day out shopping and complain about long lines while breaking social distancing guidelines. At this time people should only be getting essentials to get them through the 2 weeks but again people buying like they about to open a restaurant. They taking up space in shops being stupid.

    Like 13
    Dislike 1
  15. Disgusted says:

    It is absolutely appalling how there was no enforcement amidst the chaos?. My parents who are seniors, went to Riteway on April 2 like so many others risking their lives to get basic necessities while crowds of people squeezed together. No social distancing at all!! Where was the law enforcement??? How is this the problem of the grocery store only? No one checking ID to make sure seniors were the ones going in to shop between 6-8am. This was definitely not thought out by the governor nor the police. Very disgusted by the lack of organization . I only pray they learn from this and correct the situation so more innocent people are safe. ??♥️

  16. Murph says:

    We’ll be in the same boat, or worse, in 2 weeks. Come up with a plan now and keep the public informed

  17. Anonymous says:

    Proper, no holds barred, enforcement, enforcement, enforcement of law is the only solution to the problem. Other well thoughtout measures can assist.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
    • true says:

      The very first ones arrested for breaking curfew, including the bishop, should have been locked up. An example/precedence needs to be set. Fear of jail deters a lot in most cultures.

  18. WELLNESS says:

    B** * IN PURCELL. I HAVE TO CALL YOU OUT FOR PRICE GAUGING. NOT NICE AT ALL, ROXANNE WATER 8 DOLLORS PER CASE BASMATI RICE OVER 100 PERCENT MARK UP. N28 DOLLOR FOR BAG OF 20LB BASMATTI RICE ,B** * HAVE IT FOR 68 DOLLORS. THIS IS DAYTIME ROBBERY.

  19. STOP BLAMING THE GOVERNMENT says:

    The reason the shopping experience did not go as planned was because many who went out to shop on the first day (Thursday) were not A-I last names. ID was not checked. That was the not the fault of the Government but of the business owners. Police Headquarters as far as I am aware is still located above Rite Way Supermarket, therefore why were they not present? I was out today (Saturday) and it flowed so well which shows that if people had followed the directions given, there would not have been mass gathering.

    Like 12
    Dislike 2
    • And says:

      many don’t know name from surname, don’t read letters strung together, and would not recognize their name if was written on a birthday cake. those are most of the ones that caused havoc.

  20. What!!!! says:

    No police enforcement at all Carrot Bay bars open dominos playing. WTF.

    • vip heckler says:

      and guess what? That’s the premier’s district, don’t talk about the lines to purchase fish, nothing to protect one from getting the virus

      Like 5
      Dislike 3
      • Anonymous says:

        Yea it’s definitely the Premier’s fault, he should have arrested the domino players immediately. Get a life heckler.

  21. vip heckler says:

    Yet another big blunder by the VIP

    Like 5
    Dislike 7
  22. @home says:

    The ppl needed to govern their self in regard to shopping because the government, police some store owner and shopper did not protect each other by social distancing, hopefully you don’t get more cases no damage control, what was the purpose of this curfew when you are going into another lockdown, with such a shit show, ppl let the government feed you because this shit didn’t work and lost of life could have happened from these poor judgment of cutting this timeframes to close with such a large percentage of ppl shopping in a small window of time, I see another lockdown coming be prepared, social distancing is not going to kill you, Covid-19 his many friends willfully, willingly to join the thousands that has lost their battle in this war around the world.

    Like 2
    Dislike 3

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