ALTA Students in the Time of COVID

i Aug 19th No Comments by

Like the rest of the world ALTA students have had to adjust to life dominated by COVID-19. Today we feature the work of two students whose contributions were previously published in We Learn Women’s Perspective. Claudette and Janice (not real name) tell us how the pandemic affected them.


On Thursday 12th March 2020, Trinidad and Tobago confirmed its first COVID-19 case. This was after the WHO declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic on March 11th, 2020.

After the declaration many events were cancelled, as they considered what to do. Eventually we went into lockdown where our borders were closed. Citizens that were outside at that time could not return. When the government allowed persons to return, they had to be placed in quarantine.

This was a difficult time for the country and my family also. My children could not visit their father and me. My prayer group for women also had to stop having meetings at my home. I still encouraged friends, family and the women around me daily on the phone when they were discouraged.

It was a happy experience to begin my literacy learning. Thankfully, I was used to attending programmes online so that online classes were not too difficult to do. Apart from class, I have enjoyed the ways I could connect with persons online as I have been able to attend church services with members in different countries without wanting a flight and paying a cent.

All in all, COVID-19 has certainly changed everyday life.


On March 11th 2020 the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a pandemic. On March 12th 2020 the first case of COVID-19 in Trinidad and Tobago was confirmed by Minister of Health Mr Terrence Deyalsingh. It was the day people started to panic.

The supermarket was full of people buying the stuff they needed. We tried getting as much information on the television as the Honourable Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley addressed the nation about what it is about and what measures were being set in place to deal with the virus.

He started by closing schools, cinemas, churches, bars, beaches and all outdoor activities. We had to be socially distanced, wash our hands and sanitize. Now you can’t go and buy anything without your mask. There were many job cuts. Some people learnt to do things that they never imagined they could do. Some families got time to bond with each other. This pandemic taught many of us how to appreciate what we have.

China was the first country to get COVID-19 and first get the vaccine. On February 18th 2021 Trinidad and Tobago got our first shipment of the Astra Zeneca vaccine. I saw some of the elderly in America happy that they got the vaccine so they could hug their loved ones again and visit them.

It’s been a year now and all over the world nothing is the same. We will not be able to have our normal lives back any time soon.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the restaurant where I work had to close down due to the economy. Everyone was at home making the best of everything. We exercised a lot because we started putting on weight because we started cooking all kinds of different foods because you couldn’t go anywhere to eat.

At times I thought it wouldn’t ever end. Eventually our Prime Minister Dr Rowley started to reopen some places. We were excited to go to the beach. We went to the Savannah and enjoyed ourselves. My sister and niece got their jobs back and they work on rotation.

Now, we make the best of it and we interact a lot.

If you or someone you know is interested in joining an ALTA-V class, enhancing their literacy through ALTA Online Level 1 or becoming a sponsor, call 708-1990 or email

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