By Makeida Antonio
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused more than loss of lives and livelihoods.
As the world economy has had to adapt to changes in demands and supplies, Antigua and Barbuda has not been spared from some of the negative fallout of the virus such as inflation, supply chain delays and rising fuel prices.
Observer asked Facebook users to comment on this post yesterday, which read, “World food prices hit a new ten-year high in October with prices rising because of disruptions to shipping routes and food production, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The effect is being felt right here in Antigua and Barbuda, with certain items almost tripling in price. How has this affected you and your household?”
The following responses have been gathered from the post made on that Facebook page.
A few people who left comments say that they cannot cope with how high the prices continue to rise on the shelves of supermarkets across the country.
“It has affected us EXTREMELY! SEVERELY. Honestly, it’s the grace of God keeping me up.”
“Poor people can’t get a break.”
Some commenters expressed distress at the leap in prices for certain food items such as produce and canned goods.
One user said, “It’s just ridiculously too high; we will soon eat one another. I went to Chase Supermarket on Saturday, took up an iceberg lettuce. When I reached at the cashier, the lady is telling me $20 for it. I just kindly put it back; not even healthily we can eat in this place. Chupz!”
Another user also commented on the sharp increase in the prices for fruit in the supermarket.
“One grapefruit for over seven dollars; oranges that used to be one dollar and ninety-five cents, are now four dollars.”
Items which were once considered affordable and quite handy for making ‘cheap’ meals have become expensive as well, according to a commenter, who said that they may soon have to resort to meatless meals.
“It’s the five-dollar can of sardine, eleven dollars for a big can of beef and the seven dollars for a small oil…. We will soon have to eat green figs alone.”
One person from Barbuda shared that the prices on the shelves on the sister-island are becoming too high to bear.
“A lot. It [is] too high in Barbuda. Everything has increased in Barbuda; [they] are killing us with high prices.”
Other users have provided alternatives such as a change in food tastes as well as being proactive in practicing backyard farming, which was recently recommended by the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Environment during the launch of Arbor Month.
“I don’t eat iceberg lettuce, so they can throw that away. And I love ground provisions, I even eat them without meat too.”
“Start back yard gardening.”
“Go to CMC, or find yourself a local farmer and buy seeds and plant if you have the land space. Try buying local instead as well.”
Though someone commented that the rise in food prices is not unique to Antigua and Barbuda, as it is happening “all over the world,” at least one person shared her sense of humor on the matter:
“Once sodabix nah gone up, meh good.”