Mon | Sep 21, 2020

Elderly woman creates own bubble in COVID hotspot

Published:Wednesday | August 12, 2020 | 12:12 AM
Ivey Dyer, an 84-year-old blind woman that lives at the rear of the Mount Zion Victory House of Prayer church.
Ivey Dyer, an 84-year-old blind woman that lives at the rear of the Mount Zion Victory House of Prayer church.

A visually impaired woman who resides at the rear of the Sandy Bay church identified as the epicentre of a surge in COVID-19 cases in Clarendon says that she has not been inside the place of worship since May and has steered clear of mingling with others.

Ivey Dyer, 84, was in her room listening to her radio as soldiers and health officials kept a watchful eye on the community hours after a quarantine was imposed on the central Jamaica town on Independence Day.

NO MASKS

More than a dozen cases have been directly traced to the Mount Zion House of Prayer after a pastor who returned from the United States hosted several services there. Worshippers, The Gleaner understands, flagrantly flouted COVID-19 health and safety protocols, including not wearing face masks.

Dyer said that she has been following emerging news bites on the coronavirus outbreak in Jamaica, which has killed 14 people here and infected more than 1,000.

“Mi radio a mi husband. Honestly, night and day you come on ya, yuh hear it.

“About two month now me nuh go inna di church,” she said.

Dyer, because of her age, is at particular risk to COVID-19 as the elderly have represented the vast majority of the disease’s fatalities.

The mother of eight told The Gleaner that since news of the lockdown began to surface last Thursday, she has been bombarded by calls from her children and others.

A daughter of hers was not allowed to visit her to wash her clothes and do other errands on the first day of quarantine.

The octogenarian said that because of social-distancing concerns, she has avoided, as much as possible, coming into contact with crowds.

“Mi nuh go nowhere. ... As much as mi in here fasting, I don’t go service ... .

“I don’t go outside and mingle,” she said.

andre.williams@gleanerjm.com