Updated: Jan 11, 2022
Check out our latest Covid-19 vaccination interview with no one less than 𝐋𝐞𝐬 𝐁𝐫𝐨𝐰𝐧!
Known by most as the enthusiastic sports and health teacher and mentor!
𝐂𝐚𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐥 𝐮𝐬 𝐚 𝐛𝐢𝐭 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟? My name is Les Brown. I was born in Curacao and at the passing of one of my parents, I came to St. Maarten. I grew up here, did my secondary education in Curacao and then I went to Holland where I studied sports. After teaching in Holland for 28 years, hurricane Louis hit and I said, Hey, It's best that I go home and see what I can do on that side.
I came home I became the director of sports here in Sint Maarten regulating the different programs in the school. I also started my own foundation: Lab sports Academy. Via that program, I’m working together with the Mental Health Foundation, and different schools. We even went all the way to China for the Special Olympics and brought home two medals.
Even though I’m on pension, but I'm still busy with the afterschool programs, which is another love of mine. I find that the kids need to move a little better. Be a little more coordinated, balanced, and do things that will improve their development. They’re sitting too much, they can skip even rope. And they say that they have a concentration deficit or ADHD, but then I think: ‘’No, they just have energy, and they don’t know what to do with it, and we need to put a little more attention on that’’.
I love to continue doing things for the community. What I'm having now, is the water aerobics in the sea. Lots of our older folks, go to Santo Domingo for operations and need revalidation when they come back. So we started to do different, stretching and intensive exercises, focus on the limbs, the injuries, the mobility. It's not only for mobility, but especially now with COVID, it's also for their breathing capacity, and it does wonders.
𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐂𝐎𝐕𝐈𝐃-𝟏𝟗 𝐩𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐜 𝐚𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮? I have these groups of so many kids and people that I’m in contact with daily. And because of the pandemic, everything disappeared. So then I didn't have nobody around me, nobody to teach. So I started teaching via Zoom, but it’s just not the same. Especially the kids, need that one-on-one contact. You interact better, they learn better that way. So that was definitely a whole that I fell into.
It also made me very nervous. I listened to a lot of information from around me. The situation in Europe, in the States, and I say, boy, this thing it's really rough. And then, you hear different noises everywhere, so you don’t know what to believe anymore. So, you try to find out, but is that possible? For me with my background in physical therapy, I knew a little bit more about the body, and that combined with some common sense, made me take this thing very seriously, and I think we all have to share our part.
𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐬, 𝐢𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐨𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐨𝐧, 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐠𝐨 𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐭𝐨 𝐧𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐥? I don't think we can go back to normal because it happened already. And if you look at the news, you have different strains and it's getting worse. And, as a touristic country, tourists coming here, decides what will happen here.
The upside of having this Corona pandemic is that it’s waking up people and get them back to hygiene because a lot of us, are like ‘’happy go lucky’’ and don't pay attention to our hygiene anymore. Not taking care of yourself, the foods we eat, fast food, fast life, no time to rest. We have to build up our immune system, by exercising and eating the right foods, and we have to start teaching that again in schools.
Yeah. What I'm going to miss is that hugging, ‘’knuffeling’’, even my students, you know, big and small. It's something that gives you that bond. And if that is already gone, how do you get back to that normal now?
𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐯𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐢𝐭 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐯𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞? I am in contact with almost 500 people in a week's time. So, if I would get it, (with or without me noticing it), I will infect so many people. So, the smartest thing for me to do is to get that vaccine, to make sure that I’m causing trouble. Big trouble, because there are so many people who I depend on and they depend on me. So that’s my main reason for taking the vaccine. They are learning more and more about the virus, but for the time being, the vaccine is our best way to tackle this pandemic. That and sticking to the rules, and getting your immune system up to par.
𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐬𝐚𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐬𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐝𝐨𝐮𝐛𝐭𝐟𝐮𝐥 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐯𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐢𝐧𝐞? I would refer them to the science, that educational part of it. You have to know a little more about, the transmission of the virus. How do you get it, what it actually is? It's a respiratory something and how can you combat that? How you can protect yourself, and others? So you got to try to make sure that you explain and educate the people, then they will understand. It’s important is show them: ‘’Hey, this is facts’’. Look how many people are dying, especially with these new strains. So, we've got to get rid of this. That that is better for everybody. If only half of us take it, we're still nowhere.
You have a strain that comes from Ireland. I think one from South Africa and I have a Brazilian one. It's really getting crazy. The vaccine is the best way, to make sure that we break the cycle. Unless we want to start over on the moon!.
The best thing we can do is educate. Try to break it down for them so they see: ‘’Hey, this is the science talking. Yes, it’s safe, and it will help us.’’