For the most part, it appears that the rules of the curfew imposed under Disaster Risk Management Act were obeyed. To the extent that they were, it will be most telling in the weeks to come as we keep our eyes on the dreaded Covid-19 curve. For December 26 we recorded 39 new cases which I would say is pretty good going under the circumstances.
There was a sore point for some, particularly those who arrived on that flight from the UK who were unhappy with being placed in government quarantine. Twenty persons tested positive for Covid-19 from that flight but yet persons were up in arms that they should be allowed to go about their businesses as usual. Can you imagine what would have happened had these persons been allowed to roam the streets, spreading the virus? We all know by now that the infection rate varies but is rather problematic with asymptomatic persons; that is those who show no symptoms. We are still to hear if any of the persons who tested positive had the new strain of the virus that was discovered in England. If that was the case we would have had a massive super spreader and all of the government’s good work in containing the spread would have been dashed.
I say kudos to the government for taking the tough decision to close the borders to flights from the UK. Now that that a similar variant of the virus has been found in Canada, we should not hesitate to close our borders to flights from that country too.
This is a most painful time for our tourism stakeholders but they have to look at the bigger picture, If Jamaica becomes a hotbed for Coronavirus there will be no tourism at all. So it is best to take precaution now and figure out what is going on before it is too late.
This weekend will be another round of festivities with New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day coming up.
Of course, the temptation will be there to party and celebrate and turn our backs on the wretched year that 2020 has been. But still precaution cannot be over emphasised. We can make 2021 better by sticking to the guidelines and ensuring that we do not see a spike in the New Year. That will have a massive impact on the economy, schools and family life in general.
People are growing weary of staying at home but the government can only ease restrictions once the numbers trend in the right direction and give the indication that it is safe to do so. We have come too far to turn back now. So if it is Watchnight Services, New Year’s Eve parties, try and participate virtually…this has become the new norm. It won’t kill you but Coronavirus certainly can.
Come on Jamaica, we can do this. Encourage your neighbours and friends to adhere to the protocols established by the Ministry of Health and Wellness. Let us look for forward to a healthy, productive and prosperous 2021. It is there for all of us to achieve if we exercise a bit of willpower.