After three months, the COVID-19 curfew has finally ended, but residents of the Cayman Islands are still required to adhere to various protocols to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, residents are still spending more time at home looking for things to do, and they want to be comfortable while doing it.
Some people find that undertaking creative endeavours not only helps fill time, but also helps ease the stress caused by the global pandemic. And for parents, many of whom also suddenly had to become teachers, artistic activities are a good way of keeping their children productively occupied.
These three Camana Bay businesses have helped provide residents with a creative outlet over the past few months.
Cayman Music School and The Music Box
Erin Seibert, a music therapist at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital once said, “Music is one of the longest standing self-prescribed therapies in history.”
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, music – whether listening to it or performing it — can be therapy for adults and children alike.
During the shelter-at-home period, Cayman Music School offered virtual music and singing lessons, which numerous students took advantage of. However, starting 7 July, students can once again receive lessons in person. Also starting the week of 6 July are the annual summer music camps that will run through 15 August.
Camp activities in the past have included sessions such as music lessons, performing, band jamming, ear training, music appreciation and karaoke, as well as dancing, art and musical theatre. Owner Inna Kazakova says The Music School is in the process of fine-tuning its camp programming this year to conform with any required COVID-19 protocols.
“The camps will be basically as they have been in the past,” she says. “We just might have to change some of the activities.”
The camps, which are for children aged 5 through 12, typically run for an entire week, but Kazakova says children can also attend for a single day or a few days.
The Cayman Music School’s sister business, The Music Box, has also re-opened for those looking to buy an instrument or other music equipment and accessories.
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3 Girls & A Kiln
Art and crafts activities have experienced a huge surge in popularity around the world over the past three months. In some places, arts and craft shops were considered essential during periods when people were required to stay home because they facilitated enjoyment and kept children occupied.
Over the past three months, 3 Girls and A Kiln have seen steady sales of both adult and child various do-it-yourself art kits to make things like ceramics, string art and wood signs. Co-owner Aimee Randolph, sometimes joined by fellow co-owner Claire Rohleder, made live videos — which were then posted on Facebook — of various products available and offered craft gift ideas for holidays like Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Rohleder says that starting in July, three different children’s summer camps will be offered for children aged 8 through 14.
The first camp runs 13 through 17 July and will have a “Cayman Creatures” theme. The second runs 27 through 31 July.
“That one has a Nifty Nature and Fancy Florals theme,” says Rohleder.
The final summer camp will run 10 through 14 August with the theme “Awesome Architecture.”
“In that one, we’ll do projects based on Cayman structures, like cottages,” she says.
Although none of the popular adult craft classes are currently scheduled, Rohleder says 3 Girls & A Kiln hopes to recommence those soon after 5 July.
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With people spending more time at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many residents bought items that made their living space either more attractive, more calming or more comfortable.
Design Studio in Camana Bay had already set up an online store from last year, so its shift to online sales and home delivery was seamless.
The hottest items over the last few months was a bit of a surprise, says owner Michelle Butler.
“It was sofas,” says Butler. “People spent a lot of time at home, sitting on their sofa and hating them.”
Perhaps even more surprising was that it wasn’t just home owners buying the sofas.
“A lot of renters were buying sofas,” Butler says. “In fact, we probably sold more to renters than owners.”