Compounding the financial and social struggles Jamaica faces, a severe new wave of COVID-19 infections and deaths is placing the island and its prime minister between a rock and a tough place.
When the COVID-19 pandemic first impacted Jamaica in March of 2020, Prime Minister Andrew Holness and his Jamaica Labor Occasion (JLP) administration have been extremely counseled for successfully controlling infections and deaths. However regardless of their greatest efforts, the virus has persevered. And, as the federal government relaxed restrictions on its borders permitting worldwide journey to salvage Jamaica’s multimillion tourism trade, the general public grew uninterested in COVID-19 tips, primarily thwarting any effort to eradicate the virus.
In actual fact, the federal government was met with cussed resistance from some Jamaicans who continued partying, beach-hopping, and customarily shunning the masks mandate. Social media was flooded with posts of individuals jeering and criticizing Holness, accusing him of “making an attempt to rob Jamaicans of their freedom.”
There appears to be a stage of social indiscipline that threatens to buck the system when the group is known as upon to do issues collectively for the larger good. This isn’t distinctive to Jamaica. In actual fact, one must look no additional than right here within the U.S. the place there was a rampant disregard for COVID-19 tips and numerous teams of individuals geared toward thwarting any try to cut back COVID-19 infections and encourage vaccinations.
Jamaica has its personal points with vaccine hesitancy, and social media misinformation performs a major function in creating an environment of distrust. To make sure the inhabitants reduces its COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths, folks should be prepared to stick to COVID-19 tips and take the vaccines after they change into out there.
To Prime Minister Holness’ credit score, regardless of the criticisms, and widescale indiscipline associated to COVID restrictions, he persevered in makes an attempt to curb the unfold of the virus.
Not too long ago he introduced complete lockdown curfews of all the nation for 3 weekends efficient March 27 to April 12, together with the normally hectic, celebratory Easter weekend from April 3 to six. Coinciding with the weekend lockdown, the federal government, with settlement from the opposition Folks’s Nationwide Occasion (PNP), handed laws imposing extreme fines for flouting COVID restrictions, together with not carrying masks, crowd gathering, and breaking curfew laws.
Reviews and social media photos from Jamaica confirmed usually crowded streets and public venues devoid of site visitors and folks throughout final weekend’s curfews. It seems the Holness administration is discovering some success in getting the general public to stick to the COVID restrictions, buoyed by the ‘tooth’ of the potential fines. The query, nonetheless, is what occurs when the weekend lockdowns finish?