We were urged to not be complacent, to curtail our need to be outside as much as possible, and 12 weeks after confirming our first case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Jamaica is reopening her borders to welcome citizens and visitors in June.
So then, why are Jamaicans voicing their disdain for the measure on social media?
Reopening the economy is a good thing, right? Of course, but the root of the rage is the decision to allow tourists to flock to the island’s shores and letting them CHOOSE to get tested for the coronavirus.
After all that hard work, all that good public perception of Jamaica’s national response thrown out the window and no containment measures put in place.
To add insult to injury, Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton disclosed that Jamaicans looking to return MUST sign up through the JAMCOVID app, and will be subjected to mandatory testing, and a 14-day quarantine.
Make it make sense.
In my honest, humble opinion, these decisions are no longer guided by science, they’re guided by money.
Please, Mr. Holness, don’t insult our collective intelligence and squander the faith placed in you by the people you were elected to represent by saying the country simply does not have the capacity to test every tourist coming into the island.
Then, by those same standards, do we have the capacity to handle the overload that’s bound to devastate our hospitals? Which is worse?
‘If a dirt, a dirt’ is the popular vernacular running the streets right now, but do we have enough dirt to fill the mass graves we’ll have to make as the private sector lines its pockets?
Also, don’t tell us to expect a surge in cases if you’ve decided to effectively end the response to kick-start the economic recovery.
The only reason the death toll has been so low was that we all made sacrifices; you told us we were all in this together. What happened?
So, now what, we just simply wait on a second, deadlier wave to sweep the country?
What about all those Jamaicans living with underlying conditions, have you forgotten they’re still here?
The way I, and many other citizens, see it, we’re going to abandon all that progress and leave the outbreak to ravage our vulnerable populations.
The country’s anxieties won’t be dismissed to streamline tourism. The economy is important but you can’t bring back lives lost.
Remember there’s a general election on the horizon, it’ll be all yours to lose if people no longer trust you or they’ll be too busy being dead to vote.