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Manchester resident says she feels safer outside of Jamaica in pandemic

Published:Wednesday | March 31, 2021 | 12:12 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer

DENHAM FARM, Manchester:

Having travelled overseas during the pandemic and seen the debilitating effects of the virus on persons who live in an area once referred to as the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Manchester resident said she still felt much safer in that foreign country than in her island home, where numerous persons flout the recommended health protocols.

“I have been to New York and seen people down with the virus, and trust me, I wasn’t afraid over there as I am here. The people here are stubborn. They come into the shop and when you tell them to put on their mask, they get vex with you because they feel you telling them wrong,” said Denham Farm resident and shop owner, Vern Chambers.

The Northeast Manchester community, according to information from the Southern Regional Health Authority, is among the areas to have recorded high numbers of COVID positive cases at some point.

Other communities listed are: Grey Ground, Allison, New Green, Dunbar, Chudleigh, Alligator Pond, Bombay, Resource, TikiTiki, Greenvale, Knockpatrick, Georges Valley, Old England and Albion.

Local health authorities could not immediately confirm the exact number of active cases in each area.

“The Government can’t do anything more than what they are doing. It’s we the people who have to try and do something. We have to protect ourselves because we are the ones it will affect,” Chambers lamented.

Chambers said although she has not had a family member die from the virus, she has lost a close friend, which makes living through the pandemic very frightening.

“I’m a bit traumatised and true I have the underlying illness, me always a worry. I am always begging God to not make me catch it because I have a heart problem and I have to be in and out of hospital.

Chambers told The Gleaner that she has taken several COVID tests, just to be sure of her negative status, and is now seeking guidance from her doctor on the best possible time to be vaccinated.

FOLLOWING PROTOCOLS

“I just try to stay away from people. Even when I travel and do my tests and see negative, I keep my distance. The people here (in Jamaica) them just ignorant and lacking facts. But who fi live, going to live and who fi dead, dead. Who don’t follow the protocol them know say things a go happen to them.”

When The Gleaner toured sections of the community, quite a number of persons were seen without masks and admitted they had no knowledge their community was listed as an area with high numbers of positive cases.

Resident Milo Allen said though he had no knowledge of the community’s status, he has knowledge of four persons who contracted the virus and he is taking the necessary precautions.

“I am dying for the 5th of April to come. My doctor has taken her vaccine already, so I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t take mine.”

He said COVID is only worrisome when people disobey the protocols.

editorial@gleanerjm.com