Prime Minister Andrew Holness has declared a two-week ‘trial period’ for the reopening of select public spaces such as churches and bars in the coming days – a decision which has left many Jamaicans with mixed feelings.
Truth is, there isn’t an easy answer
On one hand, I understand the financial and social side to it (I think); people want to ‘people’ again, Christians want to fellowship and so on, but exactly HOW we go about doing that in the midst of an outbreak is the real question?
And, as fate would have it, I’m not alone in my concerns.
Okay BUZZ fam, I don’t really know what’s going on right now, at least, in the Jamaican context.
We are at 505 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), with nine deaths and 90 recoveries to date; that’s roughly 406 (or 80 per cent) of the caseload being active infections.
The outbreak is far from being under control, lest we forget the Alorica disaster and the implications that had on an entire parish.
One mistake could cost us dearly…
Is it a price we’re willing to pay?
Yes, we want to get the economy started again. Yes, many countries are doing the same and realistically we can’t afford to be on a perpetual lockdown until the outbreak subsides…
At the same time, are we really prepared for a second wave of cases?
It’s a delicate balance, I agree, and while there’s no easy answer politically, I think Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton is right on the money with Monday’s subliminal message on Twitter.
Just hours before yesterday’s virtual press conference, the minister retweeted a story from TIME Magazine highlighting the dangers of relaxing public health restrictions too soon during the last great plague, the 1918 flu pandemic, and the disastrous results it had on the death toll.
It is a reality that could befall Jamaica just as easily, possibly worse, since many citizens already live with underlying conditions; making the possibility of beating COVID-19 that much slimmer.
Leave it to Jamaicans though, to turn the worrying new developments into wry humour as social media reactions exploded.