Our selfishness exposed

Labour Minister Shahine Robinson has died

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson has died. She was 66 years old.Robinson had been missing in action from work, Parliament and social engagements for some time. Read more

Letters to the Editor

Our selfishness exposed

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

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Dear Editor,

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) reportedly originated in China and has been making its way around the world.

Jamaica identified its first case on March 10, 2020. It has now been revealed that the family of this patient is receiving death threats while some members of the Chinese community have to be walking with bodyguards. There is panic buying of toilet tissue and sanitisers, the Government is being lambasted for not shutting the border earlier causing the virus to infiltrate our country, and taxi drivers are refusing to take nurses in their cabs.

No thought is given to the fact that Jamaicans vacationing overseas have to return home, or if the Government closes the border we can't import food or anything else, or that there is still no evidence that the Chinese community in Jamaica is a carrier of the virus, or that if some people stock up on all the sanitisers and others have none they who do are still exposed, or that the same nurses are the ones we may face if we get sick.

Although the Ministry of Health is not recommending the use of masks and gloves by ordinary citizens without symptoms, there is a video of a woman selling masks and gloves in a very unsanitary condition and people are seen scrambling to secure theirs. When the masks, which were not contained in any protective covering, fell from the container, she simply picked them up and returned them to the box and continued making monetary exchanges.

The coronavirus pandemic is highlighting our selfishness in every possible way.

It is understandable that some of us are suffering from fear and panic at this time. But, the cruelty and selfishness are totally unnecessary.

We are Jamaicans. We are resilient. Let us be an example to the world. Let us unite to fight the coronavirus.

Be reminded that in 2014 we were awakened to what we now know as chikungunya (CHIKV), and in 2015 the Zika virus (ZIKV). While those were not as deadly as the novel coronavirus, they could have been. We would have been devastated if we were isolated, threatened, or blamed by others. Let us do unto others as we would have others do unto us. There is the saying, “Today for me, tomorrow for you.” One love.

Oberlene Whyte


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