Masks selling like 'hot bread' in Ocho RiosTuesday, November 02, 2021
OCHO RIOS, St Ann — Almost two years into the novel coronavirus pandemic and the sale of masks is brisker than ever in this resort town.
This stems from a combination of the entrepreneurial spirit of some residents and the realisation that the protective gear — masks — will be with us for a while.
“The masks sell like rapid; even selling more than when COVID just came around because a lot of persons lost their jobs so they buy from us and sell it back,” said Kemoya Marsh, a sales representative at Nuffa Variety store on Evelyn Street in Ocho Rios.
She also believes the brisk sales are an indication of buyers' recognition of the role the face coverings, mandatory in public spaces, play in protecting them against the virus.
“Everybody realise that this thing is here to stay and we have to protect ourselves and our young ones, so they are taking more precautions now. A lot of persons have died and people see that it is no joke,” she said.
Rubbing alcohol and wipes are also popular, preferred over gel-based hand sanitiser.
“Some people don't really get the sanitisers because they say that it makes their hands sticky when they use them. So they prefer to use other alcohol-based products and wipes are going out a lot,” said Marsh.
One street vendor, who identified herself as Sharleen, said she is proud to be a part of the COVID-19 fight by selling masks.
She said she sells more than 100 masks every day to commuters in the busy town.
According to Sharleen, she does a brisk trade in the reusable cloth masks and the disposable ones.
“Sometime people are in hurry and can't make it in the store and stand in long lines and I'm right in place to sell them a mask so they can be safe. I feel good about that,” said Sharleen.
“Every single day masks sell like crazy. Vendors even come down from Kingston selling masks in bulk and they still sell off too. Right now I don't want to be out of stock on masks. When COVID-19 did just come out masks wasn't selling this much because I don't think people was taking COVID seriously.”
A visit to Remi Haberdashery revealed that it was also seeing brisk sales in masks and rubbing alcohol.
“Mask a sell like hot bread because everybody know seh them need to wear the mask same way to be safe from the virus. Hand sanitisers is selling like regular but the masks and alcohols is what people really want – and they buy hand soap a lot,” Keresha Hamilton, who has worked at the haberdashery for four years, told the Jamaica Observer.
“Some people are respectful of what the Government tell us to do and also [want to] keep their self safe. So they get their masks and things to sanitise because only those can really protect us from the virus,” added Hamilton.
— Akera Davis
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