Most young Jamaicans often lead lives of sheer fun on weekends. We could find them at the beaches, at sessions or house parties, or chilling in their neighbourhood with friends. They all had the freedom to go wherever and whenever they chose, except perhaps those with strict parents.
Covid changed much of that, but sadly hasn’t changed all of it. Not pleased with what life has become in the pandemic, many youths defy official restrictions and ignore sensible precautions. They challenge the new norm because they see it as taking away their freedom. Some of them don’t even believe the virus will affect them. In their mind, they are fighting what they see as a life sentence of boredom and unnecessary measures.
Since the first confirmed Covid-19 case in Jamaica, this negligence has come in the form of unauthorised parties and gatherings. What’s worse, is that they seemed not to have learned from the outcome of such foolish behaviour. The most publicised of these outcomes, of course, was that of a teen brutally beaten into a coma by six young women. Lord knows that if the virus doesn’t reduce out penchant for violence nothing else will.
We humbly hope that the more responsible in our society stand up and say loudly that this is not who we are. We want our leaders to show by example that in times of crisis we should reach for our better selves. We pray that everyone understands that this thing can only be beat if we act in unison. Unfortunately, we see that even the church is no shining example for our youth. Now the number of cases is climbing almost astronomically, putting all of us at greater risk.
That the impetuousness of youth should bring us to this point is more vexing because Covid-19 offers immense opportunities. Like everyone else, the youth now have more time to reflect on and refine their life’s purpose. Despite the hardships, the pandemic gives us a chance to pivot and come up with new ways to learn, work and earn. And some innovative youth have created new income streams and businesses to meet the new needs. It’s a shame that more have not done so. Instead, too many of them keep trying to find ways around the restrictions and prolonging our suffering.
We implore the young (and young at heart) to remember the covid-19 protocols are there to protect us all. If you want excitement find it virtually, as many others have done. There are even party apps to keep that vibe alive. Search our events section where you will probably find something to suit your liking.