Tue | Jul 7, 2020

I am confused and scared

Published:Saturday | June 6, 2020 | 12:10 AM


I AM thoroughly confused and, dare I say, scared.

After leaving Jamaican citizens stranded at sea for weeks, and going to great pains to explain why this was being done, Jamaica will now reopen its borders to everyone as of June 15.

How is this decision made when realising that workers in the tourism sector will shortly be interacting with tourists from all over the world and then going back to their communities to mingle with young and old alike? Who could know this and still proceed in such an irresponsible manner, with the lives of Jamaicans literally on the line?

I now ask Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett a few pertinent questions:

1. Will waiters and waitresses be wearing masks?

2. Will guests at hotels be wearing masks?

3. How will staff at hotels ‘social distance’ when serving others, picking up dishes, delivering towels, delivering drinks, etc?

4. When a tourist comes for one week, infects others and then leaves the island, all while being asymptomatic, how will you ‘contact trace’ in such a situation when that person is no longer in the island?

The shameful disregard for Jamaican lives is evident, as is the pursuit of money over health. The PM needs to think carefully and not allowed to be led astray. This has disaster written all over it and, in the words of Health Minister Christopher Tufton, community spread and exponential growth in the COVID-19 figures will be the inevitable result. I am left to ask, did we learn nothing from the Alorica situation?