Plan or poppyshow?

Letters to the Editor

Plan or poppyshow?

Monday, May 04, 2020

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Dear Editor,

Am I the only one who is getting totally sick and tired of seeing and hearing from Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton and Prime Minister Andrew Holness, seeing that their briefings appear to get less useful by the hour?

I gave them an excellent grade in their first weeks of managing this crisis, but I have found them woefully lacking in recent days and I am resigned to the fact that they seem to have zero plan for how to get us through this pandemic.

A few examples of many examples:

1) Portmore was supposedly locked down, but people come in and out untroubled. The prime minister himself stated proudly on national TV news that “not all roads are being monitored, but the main ones are”. Lockdown or poppyshow?

2) Weeks later, contact tracing on dozens of people from the Alorica call centre have not been completed. Many of these people live in Portmore. Why reopen Portmore prior to those contact traces being finalised?

3) Instead of spreading out shopping hours in Portmore and extending hours, it was decided to limit shopping days while shortening hours. Yet we appear surprised when long lines and impossible attempts at social distancing exists. Planning or poppyshow?

4) The imminent lockdown of the country was on everyone's lips when we had a few dozen cases of COVID-19 and we were told it was being “carefully considered”. However, at a time when we have dozens of new cases per day, we are now discussing reopening? Plan or poppyshow?

5) We were continually told about containment and possible eradication of COVID-19 but just last week a Ministry of Health official ‎tells us it is likely that “all Jamaicans will get it” and “up to two-thirds of the population will likely be affected”. When did the script change? Planning or poppyshow?

6) Prior to the closing of our airports, some passengers were forced to complete documents that were pages and pages long. In subsequent days, thousands were allowed to enter without any checks or surveillance whatsoever. Plan or poppyshow?

I am not politically inclined, but I am genuinely sickened by watching the circus which seems more contrived and getting social media kudos than doing the job that both honourable men were elected to do. I, for one, will no longer place my hopes in these gentlemen who have proven to me just how clueless they actually are in navigating us through the storm.

If I am wrong, would they or someone please enlighten me.

Am I the only one who feels this way?

Is there a master plan that has been drafted and now being executed, or are we simply watching a well-coordinated poppyshow!?

Horace Mullings

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