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KINGSTON, MARCH 24 (JCSA):
Soldiers who have been on the battlefield have had the opportunity to see first-hand the terrors of war and the destruction it can cause.
The novel Covid-19, however, is far different. This virus has proven to be an enemy which cannot be seen and in many cases is deadly. This complicates the situation.
Doctors, nurses, other health care workers, Immigration and Customs Officers, across Jamaica are now risking their lives as they work under stressful and scary conditions where persons have possibly been exposed to the virus. This is a most horrific situation for them, not just because very little about this virus is understood, but because in most cases they are under-protected, overworked and are thus vulnerable.
Nonetheless, they put on their brave faces and go out into these communities to assist in controlling the virus.
Sis. Jacqueline Brown- Kinghorn is a Health Care Worker working on the Front-line. She along with her colleagues work every day to ensure that community spread of the virus is controlled. Though it is ideal for front-line workers to wear the necessary protective gears when going out into the community, Sis. Kinghorn asserted that there is the concern that the workers wearing masks might cause members of the community to be stigmatized.
“We are briefed on the areas to go to do house to house visits and have persons fill out questionnaires on their travel history from each household. We issue pamphlets then do temperature checks on each person in the house, we cannot wear mask as it is seen as a stigma although some persons are concerned that we should have gears,” she said.
This is a dangerous practice, however, that puts the workers at a greater risk of possible infection.
We have seen in countries such as Italy and Spain, how the health of Front-line Workers have been significantly compromised. Many Doctors and Nurses have died while caring for patients who have Covid-19. We must protect our Front-line workers at all costs!
We salute our hard-working healthcare workers, and all those who work on the front-line here in Jamaica and ask that they are given the support they need to do their jobs, be safe and stay alive! We need them and their families need them.
"We cannot wear mask as it is seen as a stigma although some persons are concerned that we should have gears,” she said.