Chairman of the COVID-19 Resilient Corridors Committee, John Byles, says citizens must take personal responsibility to protect themselves from the virus, by adhering to the protocols put in place by the Government.
“Where we are now as a nation, it requires that every individual is in. We have to take that personal responsibility, we need moral suasion, we need peer pressure [to ensure] that you [citizens] wear your masks, and practise social distancing. That is the only way we are going to ‘break the back’ of COVID-19,” he said.
Mr. Byles was addressing a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank held on Monday (August 31), at the agency’s regional office in Montego Bay, St. James.
He said the virus is no respecter of any group of persons, which indicates that citizens must not be complacent in adhering to protocols, even in the presence of persons known to them.
“This thing is going to get you, fame or fortune, whoever you are, and one of the problems that we seem to be having is that when we are among the people that we are closest with, we put our guard down, we can’t [do that]. We have to understand that we have to take that responsibility,” he emphasised.
“We need to be smart, diligent, follow the protocols, and most importantly, we need to take personal and collective responsibility because that is the only way we are going to go forward,” Mr. Byles said.
He argued that while it is important that the country’s economy commences recovery from the effects of the pandemic, the need to flatten the virus’ curve is paramount.
“We are saying, irrespective of what is happening, let us follow what has been working,” Mr. Byles said.
Mr. Byles was among a group of tourism stakeholders who addressed the Think Tank to give an update on compliance within the sector and the work of the COVID-19 Resilient Corridors Committee since its establishment.
Included were President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Omar Robinson; and Chairman of Jamaica Co-operative Automobile and Limousine Tours Ltd. (JCAL), Brian Thelwell.