Mon | Oct 25, 2021

Cemeteries have become social hubs

Published:Thursday | March 4, 2021 | 12:12 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

With the shuttering of the entertainment industry, cemeteries have become social hubs. There, the latest fashion can be on full display; hearses, which double as speakers, blast out the latest tunes (forget about resting in peace); liquor steadily flows; and people abandon all social-distance protocols. In a desperate attempt to curtail the skyrocketing cases of COVID-19, the Government has therefore targeted burials.

As of March 8, burial certificates will not be issued, therefore eliminating the need to congregate at these sites and mitigating the potential for the spread of this disease. While some are now questioning the capacity of funeral homes to store bodies for the next three weeks, I believe we must also ask ourselves an even tougher question. Why do so many people need to be buried in the first place?

COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic in March 2020. Since then, some Jamaica has had 435 related COVID-19 deaths. Yet, in 2020, Jamaica had an astonishing 1,301 murders. Another 435 people died as a result of traffic accidents. The painful reality of Jamaica is that there is a greater fear of being murdered or dying in an accident than of contracting, and dying from, COVID-19. Perhaps this explains the lax attitude many have taken towards observing COVID-19 protocols – there are simply too many other things to be mortally afraid of.

MARIA MUTIDJO

TEACHER