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San Pedro business owner turns cyberbullying experience into humanitarian initiative

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Posted: Monday, August 17, 2020. 3:57 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: As Belize grapples with the novelty of a global pandemic experience, many people either through fear of infection or outrage at the restrictions imposed on their movement, have responded with aggression to those infected or even suspected of being infected. Unfortunately many Belizeans are not above slandering someone’s reputation with falsehoods, a fact that Alexandia Boiton, the owner of Alex’s Pot Pies in San Pedro, found out the hard way.

Boiton was recently the victim of a cyber attack on her reputation, with someone going as far as producing a flyer bearing her name, picture and other information, purporting that she was infected with COVID-19 and that people should steer clear from her. Initially depressed over the situation, Boiton realized that those actually infected with the virus had come under similar attacks and must have been feeling even more distressed as their health was also compromised.

“There’s a lot of stigma that our COVID warriors are facing. A lot of people are shunning these people and they are victims. Nobody intentionally gets sick, it could happen to any of us,” Boiton said.

Motivated by the experience, Boiton started providing food to COVID-19 patients and their families who have to quarantine with them due to exposure. With every preparation she makes between 50-100 pounds of dough by hand and prepares the pot pies along with other donations she has received from island residents who have rallied behind her cause.

“My intention is to get everyone fed at least twice a week, that’s my goal. Twice a week minimum if not a third day. They can’t leave obviously so we have to get the care packages to them,” Boiton added. “It’s just so sad that people are so scared. I’ve seen a lot of change in the community. People are showing a lot more tolerance and compassion but they’re still scared.”

Boiton said she hopes that as more awareness is spread about the initiative, that it will be a catalyst for change as many COVID-19 patients on the island are still being subjected to bullying. She also encouraged people on the island who are affected to reach out to her via Facebook so she can get pies to them.

Breaking Belize News salutes Boiton, and those that assist her, for this incredible humanitarian initiative.

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