Fruits and vegetables vendor Tiki interacts with customer Lesroy (Spokesman Snap)

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 20th March 2020) –Having been a nurse to now a fruit and vegetable vendor, Tiki, a young local entrepreneur understands the importance of proper hygiene as it relates to dealing with others and having a healthy lifestyle overall.

In light of the high risk of the coronavirus (COVID-19) reaching the Federation of St.Kitts-Nevis, this week this reporter had the opportunity to interact with the seller at her stall on the corner of Liverpool Rowe and Delisle Street in Basseterre where she plies her trade Mondays to Saturdays.

Fruits and vegetables vendor Tiki cleans prepares her watermelon slices (Spokesman Snap)

“I think that after the virus- having a cure/treatment and so forth- hopefully, it doesn’t reach to St.Kitts-Nevis but everybody should continue eating right and continue using the hand sanitizer and washing their hands often because it’s good for the health in general.”

Commenting on how long she has been in this agricultural side of the business, she said: “Since in school, I’ve always had a passion for agricultural science. I was in the nursing profession before so when it comes to helping people  that’s  something that I enjoy doing so the food selling is as much important as in the health care [sector].”

When asked about what measures she has in place amidst health advisory concerning the expected outbreak in the Federation, Tiki told: “Well, in the morning when I come I have Clorox and water and I wipe the table before putting produce on the table and as you could see, when I cut the watermelon, I have a container with some water and Clorox is in it so it prevents the flies from coming into the area because to me the flies could actually be carriers of the disease if they land on dirty things. In general with the coronavirus or not, flies are not good to be around food so that is something that I have been doing in keeping the flies away.”

Touching on the interaction with customers, the fruits and vegetables vendor had this to say: “Customers enjoy putting their bags on the table. We (as vendors) don’t know where their bags were so I advise them not to rest anything on the table. When collecting the money, I try my best to wash my hands or use some alcohol and I have soap liquid that kills the 99% of the bacteria and germs.”

The young businesswoman is encouraging everyone to lead a healthy lifestyle in boosting their immune system so as to enjoy a better quality of life for years to come.

Fruits and vegetables vendor Tiki cleans her hands after dealing with a customer (Spokesman Snap)

“Persons should continue eating healthy on a whole because it’s very important for your health and so that you can live long. You get a longer life when you eat healthy.”

In speaking to other members of the public, this is what they had to say:

Lesroy (A customer at Tiki’s stall) – “I strongly believe in local home grown food especially because we have some real nice soil here and it’s 100 % more healthy than the imported stuff and that’s what is playing a big part in what’s going on today in the food industry in opposite to other foods that is engineered [genetically]. I just walking round now looking for oranges and tangerine because my little baby I see coming down with the flu and so I have to search to see which ones have in seeds and what don’t because I can’t see how a food that’s naturally from nature supposed to have in seeds and don’t so I check the local for the real stuff. I normally buy greens that have in a lot of proteins, local fruits with a lot of vitamin C to help build the immune system and we have the Moringa bush all over the place and access to a lot of fresh water. In preparation for the coronavirus, I have been fasting to flush out. We have a lot of produce here but it’s just for people within their minds because of what they see on the television they want to buy in terms of the fast foods and so on.”

 Mr. Jones- “To combat the coronavirus I have been taking multivitamins to boost my immune system and engaging in regular exercises. I’ve been eating mostly vegetables and fruits but I’ve been lacking on the drinking water part but I’m hoping to change that soon.”

Chief Medical officer Dr. Hazel laws has been advising members of the public about the importance of drinking water, getting adequate rest at nights, regular exercise, managing stress levels and also eating healthily by way of consuming fruits and vegetables as well as with the intake of supplements of multivitamins like Vitamin C, B Complex and B 12 in boosting one’s immune system in the threat of COVID-19.

With fever being the most common symptom for the virus, she has also disclosed that Paracetamol and Panadol are recommended, and according to her “If that is not working, you need to go to the physician to get anti fever medication preferred options in terms of treating the fever associated with this virus.”

Interested buyers can contact Tiki at 663-7638.