My Kingston - Professor Upton D Allen, OOnt

Lifestyle

My Kingston - Professor Upton D Allen, OOnt

Consultant in Infectious Diseases Professor of Paediatrics University of Toronto

Sunday, March 22, 2020

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What are your earliest memories of Jamaica?

Spending many hours at Boston Beach at a time when it was arguably the best known beach in Jamaica.

Where are your Jamaican roots?

Port Antonio and Boston Bay, Portland, Jamaica.

What triggered your foray into infectious diseases?

I was inspired by the work of mentors as well as the exciting work done by the many transformational figures in the field of infectious diseases.

Any regrets?

I have no regrets. One always wishes that there is more one could do to positively affect the lives of those who are the least privileged in our societies.

What's the one piece of advice shared during your formative years that you continue to hold dearly to?

My father, Upton Allen Sr, would advise me and my siblings to “always use the opportunity to learn from your mistakes”.

What has been your most humbling experience?

There are many. I recall messing up a 4x400 leg race at Boys' Champs or perhaps being out for a “duck” at a Jamaica youth cricket trial match that was being watched by some of the Jamaican cricket greats.

What lesson has been the hardest to learn?

Despite recognising the importance of learning from mistakes, this is among the hardest lessons to learn!

Where's your happy place?

I enjoy the great outdoors, notably exploring the Jamaican countryside.

What food sums up happiness?

Freshly made jerk pork from Boston, Portland!

What have you never understood?

Man's inhumanity to man.

Jamaica has joined the rest of the world under threat of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). What should we know and what steps ought we to take?

I applaud the local efforts at all levels to address the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important for all groups around the world to follow local and international recommendations in this regard. General measures such as social distancing and adequate hand hygiene, among others, are of paramount importance.

What if any are the long-term threat (s) to a nation's health?

New and emerging infectious diseases are challenges for all nations. In the case of COVID-19, it is rather early to fully assess or estimate the potential long-term consequences.

How long do you estimate before we can breathe a collective sigh of relief?

This is currently unclear, but is likely measured in months rather than weeks.

Editor's Note: Dr Upton Allen, was on February 27, appointed to the Order of Ontario. The Order of Ontario recognises individuals whose exceptional achievement in their field has left a lasting legacy in the province, in Canada and beyond.

Dr Upton Allen, was on February 27, appointed to the Order of Ontario.

The Order of Ontario recognises individuals whose exceptional achievement in their field has left a lasting legacy in the province, in Canada and beyond.


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