COVID puts squeeze on juice vendor’s sales
Positioned along the Palisadoes main road, close to the Norman Manley International Airport, 50-year-old Adrian Wilson is visible to all travellers, selling his natural juice from his vehicle.
With COVID-19, a virus that can severely affect the immune system on their minds, people find it hard to not stop and get a jelly to 'wash off dem heart', or enjoy some natural herbal drinks.
"Me deh pon the airport stretch fi 15 years because the government nuh create nuh work fi me. You see the natural products, everybody look for them. Everybody a go come to the one-stop shop fi the all-natural. Believe it or not, this build the immune system and that is what the people want now. Some of them consist of about six different ingredients," Wilson told THE STAR. "Me a serve the people dem because I have to create the services for everybody, plus you know seh pickney a fi go a school."
But despite the demand for his products, like many others globally, the pandemic has put a strain on his business. Fewer persons travelling to and from the country, means fewer customers.
"Business during COVID is not the best ... the place scanty. On other days, I would have a lot of customers here waiting in line. And then even before the virus, you would have people looking fi di natural products. The busiest time here a when politics a gwane and other than that, Christmas, summer and Easter. But we did a bawl still seh we wah better life, but COVID change the place! Everything get stagnant," he said. "Then the heavy rain go fall and slow up things more. So, a COVID, the rain and dust. A the reality."
But Wilson says he ensures that he is not putting himself at risk even as he tries to earn a living.
"I may come across people from different countries, so me sanitise up! Me have four a dem and me alcohol dem deh all bout the place. And me use me table fi social distance because nobody cannot come beyond the table. They stay around there while I serve. Me barely wear mask because I am beside some plants, and I want to inhale all a weh dem a let off," he said. "In my 50 years, a eight time alone me go doctor. So me a fi continue stay safe."