Christmas Village or Covid Village: "Doh go there," says local pastor
Update: Roseau Central Member of Parliament Melisa Skerrit announced on Friday that she was taking down Santa's Mall with immediate effect due to concerns about the spread of Covid-19
As the traditional holiday and mass gatherings around the island are being warned against, and social distancing is being encouraged, it's beginning to feel a lot like the Covid-19 Grinch stole Christmas.
However, on the Roseau Bayfront, now dubbed the 'Christmas Village' or 'Santa's Mall' not even a pandemic can keep the festive spirit down.
But as the shimmering elaborate holiday displays organized by Parliamentary Representative for the Roseau Central Mellisa Skerrit, continue to draw large crowds, Pastor Randy Rodney is warning that such an event may prolong the pandemic as it opens the door for the virus to spread.
"...Doh go there, you hear me, don't go there. Why? Because that's a source of the transmission of the virus. All they are doing is putting us at risk for them to come back and tell us is we do it. Is not we that do it, is all you that putting us at risk, stop putting us at risk," Rodney stated.
While delivering his impassioned speech, Rodney lamented that protocols set by health ministry officials are being ignored by the government, which he says sends a double-standard signal to the masses who are asked to abide by the same health protocols stipulated by law.
"They give us restrictions like nobody's business for the church. They say in the Act that there must never be 250 people in one setting… but they opening all kinds of things that have more than 250 people. What is that, is that science or marjee, or are they putting you at risk?" he questioned.
Pastor Rodney questions permission granted to Prime Minister Skerrit's wife Melissa to hold a super spreader event on the Roseau Bayfront, while churches are restricted to a few people. He asks, what kind of message are we sending out there, when the church has more restrictions than a potential super spreader that is allowed to be operationalized?
"We have too much marjee around us. They didn't open the church but had everyone on the bus. Now you opening Christmas village to spread the virus then you going to come and tell us what, you have to close the church again. The devil is a liar," he declared.
"So don't go on the Bayfront. I don't care who organises it, and if all you go on the Bayfront before all you come back here go and get a test. And if all you disobey what I am saying to you and you go on the Bayfront and then have to go for a test I want them to charge you twice for the test. Doh go on the Bayfront leave their Bayfront for them," the senior pastor added.
Mrs. Skerrit has said that the Christmas village will create opportunities for the business and tourism sector and will bring relief to the many small businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic
The display is expected to be up until January 2022.