One of Jamaica’s leading experts on ageing has asserted that older Jamaicans are paying with their lives for the carelessness of younger members of the population who are not adhering to COVID-19 prevention protocols.
On Saturday the country recorded seven new COVID-19 deaths. Except for a 37 year old man from St James, all of the deceased were older than 55.
Professor Denise Eldemire Shearer, Director of the Mona Ageing and Wellness Centre, has declared that the survival of senior citizens will depend on the compliance of younger Jamaicans as well as the elderly doing their best to safeguard themselves.
She said, while many senior citizens are complying with basic safety advisories, they are still being exposed because of the irresponsible behavior of younger people, including their relatives.
"The fact that so many of them are getting it speaks to the fact that it's people bringing it into the home," she observed.
She told Radio Jamaica that some older persons have also been exposing themselves to risks.
"I don't know what else can be done because we're already telling them to stay at home," she said, noting that the National Health Fund has "put things in place so that they can get three and four months of prescriptions."
Furthermore, she said she was "very concerned that they are not keeping doctors' appointments."
Accordingly, she said, emphasis must be put on the roles of "the other members of the society, rather than older people..."
Professor Eldemire Shearer said, despite the risk posed by COVID-19 to the elderly and persons with underlying conditions, many young Jamaicans have not been taking the virus seriously.
Jamaica has so far recorded 4,988 COVID-19 cases and 69 deaths.