How comes? ‘Nine night’ held for Shabba Ranks’s mother amid COVID spike

Despite stricter coronavirus regulations being announced on Sunday to help control the spread of the coronavirus in Jamaica, citizens continue to flout the established protocols.

Dancehall artiste Bounty Killer

The latest to be shared latest example is that of a memorial service for Constance Christie, the mother of dancehall great Shabba Ranks.

Held in Seaview Gardens yesterday, the ‘nine night’ for ‘Mama Christie’ was promoted on the Instagram page of Bounty Killer – who was also close to the community stalwart – with the start-time given as 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm, ending an hour earlier before the start of the national curfew.

Despite attempts to stage the event in a way mindful of the protocols, the actual gathering contravened guidelines just by being held.

To begin, there is an ongoing nation-wide ban on entertainment events, with parish councils withholding all permits for such events. Jamaica’s gathering limit is also limited to 10 people, which the ‘nine night’ far exceeded, based on a subsequent video shared by Bounty Killer.

And even with the best of intentions, and despite the flyer requiring people to wear a mask for entry, and assurances that all COVID-protocols will be enforced, the video revealed otherwise. Few of the dozens of attendees were wearing masks and there was little distancing observed at the gathering to celebrate the life of the 81-year-old.

While many lauded the celebration of the Christie’s life, others were concerned about the vagrant disregard for the virus containment protocols.

One person commented on the video, “All I see is COVID” while another shared, “No mask that’s why the government can’t trust u guys to open up the entertainment business. I always say the government should open up the entertainment business and hold anybody that in control of the party accountable and I guarantee them will make sure the patrons wear mask but no I see why them don’t give u guys that responsibility.”

There is no news yet on the funeral of ‘Mama Christie’ with the government having placed a ban on funerals and burials effective March 8, with burial orders also halted.  

Jamaica has recorded 24,103 cases of the virus and 435 related deaths.