There is a list in the international arena of world leaders whose political fortunes could be changed because of their cynicism and incompetence in handling the pandemic.
And while leaders in the US, Russia, UK and Brazil are on that list, Jamaica’s leadership is not. Here’s why.
“Things don’t look so bad for us”, said one respondent in an unscientific survey in which everyone felt good about Jamaica’s leveling curve, for which they credit the government.
At the unset of the virus in Jamaica, the government has been on a list, but one of a few top performers measured by their positive attitude – not cynicism – and the good and timely measures – not incompetence.
And as the island nears the end of new positive cases of the coronavirus, the country can breathe a sigh of relief, and for many reasons not least is the stigma attached to people associated with the disease, whether they are family members of a known positive case, or are health practitioners who may or may not be on the front line fighting the disease.
We recall the fuss made by taxi drivers who refused to pick up nurses for fear they and their passengers would get infected, and which led to the government providing several buses to take them to and from work.
Imagine if things had gotten worse, much worse, and it could have given the country’s close-knit communities and an aging population, as well as the high prevalence of non-communicable diseases.
We can count ourselves lucky as Jamaican society as we know it could have changed beyond recognition, if the authorities had allowed the virus to spread through 1.7 million people and kill 60,000, as was projected. And who the virus didn’t kill, stigma would.