Jamaica is seemingly always a step behind when it comes to the implementation of COVID-19 protocols.
Some countries, such as England and Denmark, are in the process of removing all related COVID-19 mandates, while Jamaica is now in the process of compiling a list of events from which they can bar the unvaccinated.
This is unbelievable!
Jamaicans are intelligent people and we are able to assess both local and international news and come to an informed conclusion. Can the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) tell us the scientific reason for the development of such a list? Isn't it factual that both the vaccinated and unvaccinated can contract and spread COVID-19?
I am sure people want to be supportive of the measures being planned by the Government, but more rigorous analysis is needed. Can we hear a little bit more about this list? Does it cover areas that are already crowded? Will it include events like making payments at the tax office, traffic courts, and Jamaica Public Service (JPS)? How about events like buying fast food?
From the local news it seems as if the main events centre on sports. This is definitely counterproductive and it would be sad if the medical community does not realise this. If both groups (vaccinated and unvaccinated) spread the disease, please tell us the benefit of having only one group at these events. Instead of being based on science, this decision seems grounded in spite. A simple solution would be to reduce by half the number of people who are allowed into any venue and then ensure that protocols such as temperature checks and spacing are strictly enforced. Why target the areas which may impact relaxation and therefore emotional and mental well-being?
It is obvious that we have a very weak and feckless Opposition party. Can the People's National Party become sufficiently energised to tell us if they support discrimination against any portion of the Jamaican society?
Additionally, the MOHW needs to coordinate its press releases and public education strategies. On the one hand we are hearing how dire the situation is, hence the need for the vaccinated-only events list, and yet we are also being told that the positivity rate is 13.9 per cent, which would suggest that the fourth wave is now waning.
I think, whether or not we have been vaccinated against COVID-19, we can agree that, as Jamaicans, we would prefer dialogue to discrimination in any form.