COVID-19: We're living on a prayer!

Letters to the Editor

COVID-19: We're living on a prayer!

Thursday, July 30, 2020

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Dear Editor,

Like most Jamaicans, I have paid close attention to the news surrounding the novel coronavirus pandemic and our Government's response to same. In the early days I was thoroughly convinced that the Government had the perfect playbook, as we were told about testing and contact tracing being integral to the country's fight and minimising risk to the Jamaican people. In recent weeks, however, it has become more and more apparent to me that the dog no longer wags the tail and, instead, the situation becomes more and more left to chance, while Jamaican lives lie precariously in the balance.

As tourists and returning nationals flock to our shores we are told that there are thousands of people who have been tested whose results are not forthcoming. Of what good is this when they are stepping off aircraft, coming from COVID-19 hot spots, and are simply left to mingle with whomever they wish? And, some who were tested when entering the island depart long before there results are even known.

With the above in mind, what about the great benefits of contact tracing which we were told was so vital in reducing the likelihood of community spread? With thousands of results pending, contact tracing is so far behind that it has been rendered useless.

And what about the great tracking app which we were told would provide geofencing for individuals who were in home quarantine? If this were working we would not continue to get anecdotal evidence of people supposedly in quarantine being out and about at parties and other such functions‎.

The one bright spark is that, at the time of writing, our death rate and hospitalisations remain remarkably and thankfully low. Whilst grateful, I am cognisant of the fact that this is due far more to luck and God's grace than any genius on behalf of the Government, who seem to have simply removed their hand from the rudder while themselves being puzzled at their good fortune to date.

What will happen if and when that luck changes? As we continue to live on a prayer, I, for one, continue to pray for that luck to hold while recognising now more than ever that “Brogad”, health minister, et al, have failed us miserably.


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