‘Keep your distance’ - Inner-city residents bemoan lack of physical distancing
The rampaging COVID-19 virus continues to hit the island, with triple-figure increases being recorded almost daily. But even with the spike, there are some persons who are not being vigilant in following the protocols set by the Government to control the disease's spread.
Jamaica on Tuesday recorded 122 new cases of the virus, pushing the country's tally to 4,164, with 2,858 cases being active. Some 1,206 of these active cases are in Kingston and St Andrew, 544 in St Catherine, 226 in St Thomas, 208 in Clarendon, and 206 in St James. Additionally, 100 persons are in hospital, with 25 being moderately ill and eight are critically ill. Some 46 persons have died from the disease.
Up to press time yesterday, six persons are in government quarantine facilities and 25,741 are quarantined at home.
Tashana Robinson, a resident of Rae Town in central Kingston, says she is literally staying far from others. She wants more to be done to force people to comply with physical-distancing guidelines.
"Mi likkle daughter have asthma, so mi extra careful all the time. Mi nuh allow anyone to come in my house and dem ting deh, and mi nuh really go anywhere unless mi have to," she said.
She urges the Government to start the islandwide curfew at 2 p.m., "so di people dem can't bungle up one place".
"Some a the children dem still leggo 'bout di place more time. People just need to stay in a dem yard and know say dem fi just go road when it necessary, but some a dem people ya 'round here nuh have a care in di world. Dem just nuh take it serious, so di prime minister fi just lock dung di place, and bet yuh everybody affi stay in," she said.
Similar sentiments were echoed by another resident, Susan James, who says some of the community's members refuse to believe that 'COVID-19 is still keeping'.
"Dem ya people here don't know what name social distancing, dem just wa rub up on yuh so.
More time you see di shop dem, and everybody just bungle up in a dem. No space in between. Right now as mi a talk to yuh, mi stink a bleach powder because mi nuh ramp fi bleach out my place," she said.
James said that she is playing her part to help fight the virus, because the quicker COVID-19 leaves the country, the better it will be for her.
"The first month when COVID reach yah mi lose my work, and right after that mi daughter pass her exam for Merl Grove. So yuh know say mi have to buy little things and gwan sell. Mi can't afford for mi and my family to sick, so mi a do everything in my powers to prevent it. But the people dem in the community need to do the same, because dis ting nuh laugh with people," James added.
A risk-analysis study, commissioned by the Cabinet in March, found that more than 40 communities in the Kingston metropolitan area are the most at-risk places in Jamaica for transmission of COVID-19. However Tasha, a resident of Rose Town, says she does not know anyone with COVID, and is still not convinced that the virus exists.
"But one ting mi know is that something out there a make people sick and a dead, so we have to be careful. Mi wear mi mask still, because mi don't have no $10,000 to give the Government, so mi a gwan follow dem rule," she said. "Jamaicans nuh really take nothing serious still, although mi nuh think it deh here. Probably a just di Bible a fulfil; so once a that a happen, we can't do anything except prepare for Judgement Day, because it would mean the world may end soon."