Every morning Michael Hyman puts on his gloves, mask and face shield and gets to work.
As a supervisor at the H&B Esso service station on Shedden Road, he does whatever the job requires. He makes sure the shelves are fully stocked, cars are filled up with fuel, and the customers are happy – all from a distance of six feet.
“I am still working so I still give God thanks because a lot of people are not working,” he told the Cayman Compass as he pumped gas on a weekday during the soft curfew.
“Although we are in this crisis, I know I can move freely almost every day. The only day I don’t come out is Sunday.
“It feels good because I come out, serve the public fuel, we have gas, we have rum, beers, food, everything.”
Hyman has got used to the police checks on his way to and from work. The officers have started to recognise him in his uniform and wave him through.
Every night, when he gets home, he takes his shirt and shoes off outside and sprays them with a bottle of Lysol that he keeps in the car. He steps inside the door to take off his trousers and then he sprays them too and leaves them outside the door.
The coronavirus can live on surfaces, even clothes, for several hours and the last thing he wants is to bring it into his home.
These are small sacrifices, he thinks, to be able to earn a living and help keep Cayman running in the midst of the crisis.
His perspex visor starts to fog up as he explains what it means to him to be an essential worker.
“Some people looking at us as lower class worker,” said Hyman, who came to Cayman from Jamaica in 1995, looking for a better life.
“Not everybody looking at us as a chief role. I don’t know about nobody else but they look at me and see we are very important now in this crisis here.”
He hopes the respect for him and his colleagues will continue long after the coronavirus has gone.
“Maybe they will say, in the crisis these guys who work at the gas station [made sure] we have our suppli