By Lincoln DePradine
The wearing of masks has become essential ever since last year’s outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
And with last month’s eruption of La Soufriere volcano in St Vincent, masks now serve a two-fold purpose in some Caribbean countries: protection from the coronavirus and also as guards from inhaling volcanic ash.
The ash from La Soufriere has rained down not only on St Vincent and the Grenadines but also on Barbados, St Lucia and Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
Toronto-based Grenadians, who have been involved in mass mobilization of relief assistance for St Vincent, have been able to secure 40 boxes of disposable masks that are being shipped to Grenada.
The effort was coordinated by Grenada Disaster Preparedness Toronto (GDPT), with the masks donated by a group of Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) employees.
The masks, from TTC’s Black Transit Workers’ Association (BTWA) headed by Kyron Lewis , was handed over last Saturday to GDPT chairman Unison Joseph and other members of the group.
BTWA, formally established last year as the first ever Black-focused group within any of the transport systems in Canada, says it aims to be “a voice to highlight Black issues, celebrate Black accomplishments and advocate for Black rights within our workplace and our industry’’.
GDPT was founded in 2019 to provide aid to Grenada in the event of a disaster.