By Shanea Johnson
Is the Government being hypocritical? Hmmmm… The recent Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) campaign in Falmouth, Trelawny saw a massive turnout in its supporters. And, just to note, there was a spike in COVID-19 cases earlier this month. Despite this, supporters of the opposing People’s National Party (PNP) were said to have caused some disruption during the JLP’s tour of the Water Square community.
What bothers me is that the leader of the JLP, The Most Hon. Prime Minister Andrew Holness is more concerned about the disturbance of the PNP supporters than the risk of persons being exposed to the COVID-19. Mr. Holness stated “As leader of this country, I will never engage in politics that will make my people uncivil to each other.” But how would one regard this act? That is, hosting a campaign during these unprecedented times. I am almost certain not everyone was wearing a mask. Just imagine the excitement, shouting, cheering and the extravaganza on the campaign trail. Look closely at the photo above. Where is the social distancing? People touching on each other, a child or two somewhere in the crowd and even the most vulnerable (the elderly) lurking around. Maybe the case is that ‘corona nah keep some part a Jamaica’ as some have put it.
Ironically, Mr. Holness stated that the comrades have no leadership because if they did, their leader would have told them to wear masks. Now, look at this man in the photo in front of the car all dressed in GREEN which signifies he’s a JLP supporter, with his mask not properly worn. Yet Mr. Holness is throwing insults at the opposing Party? As my grand-aunt would say “tek di beam outta yuh yeye before yuh tek it outta sumaddy else”. This means one should acknowledge or see their flaws or faults before highlighting other people’s issues. This simply shows that Mr. Holness, like his opponent, cannot completely control the actions of all supporters.
I can imagine that there were both JLP and PNP patriots, including the elderly, out in their numbers to support their respective Parties – the ones considered to be amongst the most vulnerable and susceptible to contracting the virus. I don’t believe either Mr. Holness nor candidate Hamilton would be telling these people to go back inside and not cheer them on. None of them are really capable of controlling their supporters’ actions, and they dare not tell them to go back in the comfort of their homes especially during such an important time – the election campaign. No way!
On the contrary, maybe Mr. Holness had cautioned his supporters of the importance of wearing their masks. Maybe he was considerate of the people’s welfare as it was reported that he cautioned the crowd to observe the COVID-19 protocols despite the Party to which they were affiliated. Maybe the people are to be blamed for ignoring these protocols. Mr. Holness and Health & Wellness Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton have given several warnings about the importance of wearing masks and maintaining social distance.
Perhaps this pandemic isn’t as harmful as you might think. After all, it might just be the bait for a BIG catch for the Holness Administration come Election Day slated for September 3, 2020.