ICYMI in Jamaica, August 16, 2020: Andrew Says Let’s Go, el-Faisal Says Goodbye, and JAMP Says Sorry


This week was a momentous one for those who get excited about elections. On Tuesday, the Prime Minister announced the date in Parliament (not in front of a large crowd of frenzied supporters, as is normally the case): Thursday, September 3. Nomination Day will be next week – Tuesday, August 18. Thankfully, it will not … More ICYMI in Jamaica, August 16, 2020: Andrew Says Let’s Go, el-Faisal Says Goodbye, and JAMP Says Sorry

ICYMI: August 9, 2020: A Pair of Desert Boots, A SWAT Team, and More Weak Fences


Well, the past week has been pretty intense, with politics, crime and COVID-19 vying for the headlines (and sometimes getting mixed up together). Click on the highlights for links to the stories. Your feedback is always welcome! Agriculture: Here’s a good piece in Forbes magazine about the challenges for Jamaica’s small farmers in the face of climate change … More ICYMI: August 9, 2020: A Pair of Desert Boots, A SWAT Team, and More Weak Fences

Jamaican Independence: Another Quarantined Community, and Churches – “If You Cyaa Hear, You Will Feel”


Well, it has been quite a strange Independence holiday, with an online celebration that I completely missed unfortunately – and just now, fireworks at 10:00 p.m. as usual – but without the crowds. The fireworks were sort of in a vacuum. And we had a press briefing this evening at the Office of the Prime … More Jamaican Independence: Another Quarantined Community, and Churches – “If You Cyaa Hear, You Will Feel”

Jamaica COVID-19 Update: Another Community Quarantine, Electioneering, and Irresponsible Behavior


Happy Independence Day, Jamaica! Our health officials have been trying to press home the need for social distancing and the wearing of masks, as our local transmission numbers for COVID-19 and the numbers of those hospitalized who are suspected of the virus continue to climb. As of today (August 6) we had eight new cases … More Jamaica COVID-19 Update: Another Community Quarantine, Electioneering, and Irresponsible Behavior

Celebrating Caribbean Literature Day (Online)


What is Caribbean literature, who is writing – and where? This weekend, tune in to two online sessions celebrating Caribbean Literature Day. Yes, this is a “first”! And a wonderful concept. See the information below… And thanks to National Librarian Beverley Lashley for letting me know about this. By the way, I have reviewed a … More Celebrating Caribbean Literature Day (Online)

Happy Summer Solstice


Tonight is the Summer Solstice. It is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the time when the Earth is tilted most closely to the Sun (23.4 degrees, to be precise). At the same time, it is the Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, where everything is the other way round. The … More Happy Summer Solstice

“If a Dirt, a Dirt”: COVID-19 and a Reopening of the Jamaican Economy


“If a dirt, a dirt.” There is a fatalistic streak in the Jamaican psyche. The point is sometimes reached where people shrug their shoulders and say, “Suh it guh” (that is how things go). In this COVID-19 era, this tendency has kicked in. “Dirt” refers to death. As this current saying suggests (there are many … More “If a Dirt, a Dirt”: COVID-19 and a Reopening of the Jamaican Economy

UNDP Launches Dashboard on Countries’ Preparedness and Vulnerability to COVID-19


My recent post on an Oxford University study seems to have stirred some interest (partly, I suspect, because of some Jamaican readers’ partisan political leanings!) On March 25, 2020, the University’s Blavatnik School of Governance launched its COVID-19 Government Response Tracker, (including a Stringency Index), which it describes as “the first ever tool to track and … More UNDP Launches Dashboard on Countries’ Preparedness and Vulnerability to COVID-19