And while the lucky among us may evade the virus altogether, we'll certainly all be touched by its devastating economic impact.

The applicants for the Unemployment Relief Program know that all too well. The close to 40 thousand who are awaiting their $100 dollars, whether by direct deposit or prepaid card, continue to wait for notice of incoming social assistance.

That wait came to an end for some Belize City residents today but only after another long wait in front of the Social Security Board.

Cherisse Halsall found that for once, these folks weren't too unhappy to wait in line.

There was a massive line in front of Belize City's Social Security Board this morning.

And social distancing guidelines could be damned as the crowd of close to 100 people wrapped themselves around Belize City's SSB main office.

They were lined up in alphabetical order to receive the first round of COVID relief prepaid cards that can be topped up with the bi-weekly $150.00.

We asked three of the approved clients why they opted out of submitting banking information.

Relief Fund Applicant
"My daughter applied for it for me and I got a text yesterday and they told me to come and get the social so I came for the social to see what they have to give me."

"My daughter didn't get my credit union book to get the number so I just had to come for it when I heard about it."

"Well I appreciate what they're pushing out for us because that means they're looking out for the fallen brothers."

"I used to be a plumber and construction but now I can't do my work again due to where I got hurt I had gotten shot a couple years back by police men."

Cherisse Halsall:
"So were you surprised that the Belizean government was able to offer assistance at this time?"

Odesa Orozco, Relief Fund Applicant
"Oh very, very, very."

"I got my text pertaining to the COVID-19 fund. I appreciate it. I got my first text. I applied online and they got back to me and told me that my stuff is in review, the like two weeks after that I got another text stating that it's been approved thank the almighty it comes in handy of course I got another text stating that my pre-paid card is ready so I should come and pick it up. Hallelujah!."

"It's not all of us that have a bank account. So I'm glad for the card, I appreciate it, no kinda groceries right now, I need groceries asap. I applied at social for groceries too. I only got one week so that's done. So I appreciate it."

Cherisse Halsall:
"Are you supporting anybody in your household right now?"

Odesa Orozco, Relief Fund Applicant
"5 grandchildren, my sister, myself and my daughter."

Cherisse Halsall:
"What are the ages of the kids."

Odesa Orozco, Relief Fund Applicant
"Ranging from10 to 3 years old because the twins are 3, two boys."

"To me the two lines are appreciative to me because going by the alphabet it's good, it's good, going by the alphabet it's good. You have from A-G so much to Z it's good, cause it's not gonna be a confusion. Everybody out here know that everybody for a fact get their text and everybody appreciate the little chi-ching."

"So it's just patience, faith and everything one be alright."

But in these trying times many would think that there was nothing right about this massive gathering and while police tried to keep the applicants 3 feet apart, the line was growing, extending to almost 300 feet. And at the end of it we met Silvano Coc, a fisherman grateful for some help to feed his growing family.

Cherisse Halsall:
"Why didn't you submit a bank account for this? Why did you get the card?"

Silvano Coc, Relief Fund Applicant
"Because I didn't know I wasn't prepared so I don't have my account active."

Cherisse Halsall:
"Tell me about the process that you went through to apply for this card?"

Silvano Coc, Relief Fund Applicant
"Well, one of my friends shared the social security info about the COVID-19 and I just sent it just filled out the form and after that I waited almost a week for them to give me the notice to come and then I received a message to come yesterday at about 10 o'clock they started giving the prepaid card but since I didn't come yesterday I came today but I see the line it's very long so we are waiting for that cause every Belizean is waiting for that help."

"I never expected you know, I'm a fisherman so I'm not working for a long time from the 17th of March until now I get help and I say thank you. It's pretty much it's not a big money but we're grateful for the help with that little bit of money."

"I support my common law and my two sons right now."

Cherisse Halsall:
"How old are the boys?"

Silvano Coc, Relief Fund Applicant
"Well my first son is 6 years old and the little is two years now and a next baby is coming on too."

"We don't have the job like I always go out and come back and we have enough money for the family right now we just have for the food and that's okay, to survive."

As we've told you last night, 32,916 applications have been approved for payment to applicants. These include 7,106 which were approved yesterday, and those have been forwarded to the Social Security Board for processing.

SSB has already made payments directly into the accounts for 20,153 of those applicants between April 9th, and April 17th.

Channel 7