Rita seh to har bwoy “nuh becaa nuh fish nuh innna yu one bucket a sea wata meen seh nuh fish nuh inna di hole sea”
The people dem did juss a drop ded like fly!
Yes, people were dying in unbelievable and unexpectedly large numbers in 1918 during the flu pandemic. Much more suh dan deh ded fram de 2019 Corona (COVID19). Rich people. Poor people. Black, white, asian, chinese. Famous people and unknown people. Jews, atheist’s, churchgoers, non-churchgoers, drinkers, smokers, believers and nonbelievers.
The germ, new at the time, and, like corona having not been previously introduced in the population, relentlessly wreaked havoc. The prudent action and quick learning exhibited by the medical and clinical leadership in St. Louis, United States resulted in major reduction in the total deaths compared to the number of people who died in Philadelphia.
In Philadelphia large gatherings were not discouraged, and initially were actively encouraged. And so, like corona today, this new influenza virus, spread silently, efficiently, and rapidly with deadly effect. Meanwhile the people in St. Louis heeded the warnings to avoid large crowds. For physical and social distancing! The result was the reduced mortality from the influenza and flattening of the disease spread curve.
Myths then about the cause of the new disease and how to survive were prevalent, like they are today with Corona. But the disease was respecter of no myth. Those failing to acknowledge sound health professional medical, and wise political advice, and who were instead calling on God to protect and deliver died in huge numbers anyway. So did preachers, teachers, children, the aged, the healthy young and the infirm. Multiple thousands of skeptics died, and very quickly too. All told, about a third of the world’s population at the time died from the pandemic. There was no immunity, no medications, and no prior experience as to how society should manage such a crisis. Fortunately, today, with corona we have this unfortunate historical precedent from which the wise have learned
Still some people a seh a 5G do it. Others feel seh dem cyaan get it since dem yung. Sum seh dem too poe fi get eeh. Dem people deh aguh get a big puppa lic if dem gwaan believ dem foolishniss.
Most Jamaicans have a lot of common sense. They can see for themselves what is going on elsewhere in the world around and how corona is causing much devastation. They do not need Mr Holness and Dr Tufton to beat it into their heads. However, unlike some of the world leaders, these two, and the health care epidemiologists and infection control practitioners in Jamaica have been quite proactive encouraging physical distancing, self-isolation and when appropriate quarantine to arrest the rapid and uncontrollable spread of the corona. Despite these best efforts, the numbers in Jamaica continue to rise; and now a nurse is counted among the infected.
All wise Jamaicans must accept this corona can be passed from person to person without either party recognising what transpired. Everyone must consider himself or herself infected.
Jamaicans prudently using the best available medical information, corona epidemiologic data, effective disease prevention practices, and the favourable climate may minimise the devastation corona can inflict.
Rita was right when she reminded her son that there is more to the sea than one bucket of fishless salt water.
If each individual Jamaican fails to act believing they are not at risk and so do not take appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of this infection, the society will soon be overrun with corona. The cost to society will be overwhelming. The unnecessary death count could be extreme. Healthcare professionals may begin to withdraw services. And restriction on everyone’s behaviour may become more stringent in order to curtail the spread of corona.
Each Jamaican must:
- Wash hands often or apply effective hand gel if handwashing is impossible
- Always stay at least 6 feet from another person
- If having fever, cough or shortness of breath call a health clinic, doctors office, the health ministry or a hospital for advice on how and where to seek help
- Adhere to isolation or quarantine and other government directives
- Report to the health authorities immediately if aware of anyone with possible corona exposure in their community
- Healthcare providers must properly hand wash and use effective protective gear (N95, face shield, gowns and gloves when appropriate. Report all potential and diagnosed corona cases to appropriate health authority immediately
- Not feel guilty or ashamed if they are infected and should report to appropriate authorities immediately
The world over Jamaicans are known to outperform. Jamaica can do it again!
By Leon Wright
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