The unbalanced COVID-19/curfew equationThursday, February 25, 2021
The recent tightening of curfew hours islandwide seems to have been more nerve-wracking than it has ever been, even more so than the spikes in the number of COVID-19-positive test results, possibly because of our anticipating that our leaders would have had new and inspired insights on how to better tackle this pandemic. But, as the Jamaican saying goes, “Wah nuh good already, cyaan good again.”
Regardless, it shows that many of our decision-makers and those of influential standing lack vision. Firstly, it is logical to extrapolate that the curfew-imposed limitations on movements and intermingling of people would limit the virus spread. However, an alternative mode of action of these restrictions has been completely ignored, which is that much of our “bad” and unhealthy social practices are curtailed by the curfews, such as late-night activities at the expense of proper sleep patterns; exposure to excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages, food, and smoking; and the many other things in which our souls were drowning. These are the grounds on which to fight COVID-19 and its ravages. Unfortunately, people cannot be tricked into a healthier lifestyle, at least for long.
Secondly, COVID-19, both in its epidemiology and its pathology, is promising to be a long-term event. Are we going to have curfews, have to wear face masks, restrict social events and processes, and repeatedly take a vaccine forever, like taking a pill for a chronic, non-communicable disease, the way we do for hypertension, etc?
Lastly, curfews as tools to combat the coronavirus spread have been hijacked by the authorities. Suspiciously, it had traces of intended crime fighting; traffic crash reduction; and even economic considerations such as reduced circulation of money, especially away from non-essentials. After all, one way to not feel like (or know that) you are poor is not to feel compelled to spend what you don't have. However, these hidden motives have or will inevitably fail, for, again, you cannot force responsible attitudes and behaviours onto a people, especially ones who behave as if they are “Fatherless”.
One day, the world will be made to reflect on what a travesty this was, not because of what nature had brought us, but how we, from our politicians, health-care industry, and the media, to the common man, were distracted from the truth. We may eventually snap out of it, but when we do it shall hurt like the truth — or “hell”, if you rather.
Andre O Sheppy
Norwood, St James
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