100 not out for Hanover’s Estina Vernon
Hanover resident Estina Vernon celebrated her 100th birthday last Sunday, an occasion which was marked with a small, intimate gathering at her home in Jericho.
"I feel good. I trust in God and He gives me the health and strength to live to see a 100," said the centenarian whose diet does not include meat. "I only eat what I know is good and give God thanks for it."
Vernon now takes the number of 100-year-olds in Hanover to 10, according to the National Council for Senior Citizens in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
Vernon, who grew up in Morris in Hanover, gave birth to nine children, six of whom she has outlived.
Her daughter, Andris Williams, who is also her caretaker, said she is happy that her mom lived to reach the milestone. She said that a massive family gathering was planned but that had to be scratched.
"Some other family members were supposed to be here from foreign but because of COVID-19, they couldn't come. I feel good, though, to see her live to see a hundred and a few family members could come and celebrate it," Williams said.
She said that relatives who could not attend the birthday celebration joined in via video calls.
With COVID-19 being a major threat to the elderly population, in particular, health practitioners have urged persons to limit physical interaction with this vulnerable group to avoid getting them infected. The elderly is now required, by law, to remain at home, unless they are going out to get food or medicine.
Vernon told THE STAR that she has heard of COVID-19 "but I don't worry about it". Her daughter, Williams, is also aware of the disease and is cognisant of the need for social distancing and hygienic practices to keep the respiratory illness at bay.
"We are afraid. I'm the only one that is here with her. Even when the celebration was going on, I'm the only one that go close to her and everyone else have to stay them distance," she said.