Written by: Crisan Evans
Another week of the Corona-virus, codename COVID-19, and another week of being constraint and depressed since its outbreak worldwide. I am not just depressed or sad because of the virus and its ‘wildfire behavior.’ I am mortified because of the irrational actions and simple-minded behavior of people – whether local or international.
To the date of writing this article, Jamaica has confirmed a total of 223 cases – a huge jump from 143. Before this sudden spike, the country had only been recording 3 or fewer cases per day. Now you see why I’m mortified.
Along with self-quarantine, community and parish-based quarantines and the work from home policy, the government has implemented other measures such as social distancing. However, despite all these rules and the government’s efforts, there are still persons who choose to remain oblivious to the seriousness of the current situation that the country is in. Instead of following the Government Implemented rules, these persons opt to make a mockery of the Government and law enforcers for social media.
Having said that, the worst of these are the persons who believe that the government is trying to control their lives by quarantining them or their areas. These persons believe their best course of action to rectify their situation is to flee quarantine zones, and knowingly threatened the safety and health of other persons.
What surprises me, even more, is the recent news about BPO firm Alorica. Alorica has been accused of allegedly not adhering to the government’s protocols in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Due to Alorica’s lack of consideration towards their employees and the wider community, a total of 52 employees were exposed to the virus. Regardless of employee complaints about social distancing, the company still turned a blind eye.
An anonymous source reported to Radio Jamaica that representatives from the Health Ministry recently visited the organization and enforced the social distancing rule. However, after the representatives left the other persons were told to occupy the same room once again – disbanding their pretense of adhering to the social distancing policy. This report was on Saturday, April 11th, before the second confirmed case at Alorica. This is nothing but inhumane as it is obvious these people know what they were doing and that it was wrong.
The government can only do so much. It is also the citizen’s responsibility to protect themselves and ensure that no one is threatening their safety. Yes, regulations can be made and enforced, but, it is up to us as citizens to cooperate. It is one thing for the government to say “stay off the road” but it is another if people refuse to listen and give law enforces a hard time doing their part. We all have to come together to fight this virus. Jamaica is a small country and I can guarantee that if this virus continues to spread like it is now we are all going to face the consequences. We cannot be selfish in times like this. Let us be each other’s keeper.