Another week of the Corona-virus, codename COVID-19, and another week of being constraint and depressed since the COVID-19 outbreak worldwide. I am not just depressed or sad because of the virus and its ‘wildfire behavior.’ I am mortified because of the irrational actions and simple-minded behavior of people – whether local or international.

To the date of writing this article, Jamaica has confirmed a total of 143 cases with ages ranging from 4 years old to 56 – a huge jump from 69. Before this sudden spike, the country had only been recording 3 or fewer cases per day. Now you see why I’m mortified.

Along with self-quarantine, community and parish-based quarantines and the work from home policy, the government has implemented other measures such as the social distancing and the no more than 10 persons per room rules. However, despite all these rules and the government’s efforts, there are still persons out there who choose to remain oblivious to the seriousness of the current situation that the country is in. Instead of following the Government Implemented rules, these persons instead opt to make a mockery of the Government and law enforces for social.

Having that said, the worst of these are the persons who believe that the government is trying to control their lives by quarantining them or their areas. These persons believe their best course of action to rectify their situation is to flee quarantine zones, and knowingly threatened the safety and health of other persons.

What surprises me, even more, is the recent news about BPO firms. Alorica has been accused of allegedly not adhering to the government’s protocols in response to the COVID-2019 outbreak. Due to Alorica’s lack of consideration towards their employees and the wider community, a total of 52 employees were exposed to the virus. Regardless of employee complaints about social distancing, the company still turned a blind eye.  

An anonymous source reported to Radio Jamaica that the Health Minister recently visited the organisation and enforced the 10 persons per room rule. However, after the Minister left the other persons were told to occupy the same room once again. This report was on Saturday, before the second confirmed case at Alorica. This is nothing but inhumane as it is obvious these people know what they were doing and that it was wrong.

The government can only do so much, it is also the citizen’s responsibility to protect themselves and ensure that no one is threatening their safety. Yes, regulations can be made and enforced but it is up to us as citizens to cooperate. It is one thing for the government to say “stay off the road” but it is another if people refuse to listen and give law enforces a hard time doing their part. We all have to come together to fight this virus. Jamaica is a small country and I can guarantee that if this virus continues to spread like it is now we are all going to face the consequences. We cannot be selfish in times like this. Let us be each other’s keeper.

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