We will remember 2022 for many things – shock, fear, tears, laughter, hopelessness, and Covid-19. There is never a dull moment in sweet, sweet Jamaica and the year of our 60th independence anniversary was no different.
It started with anxious uncertainty as the pandemic persisted. Curfews were still in place, masks hid our faces, and the entertainment sector remained closed. It took a toll on the economy and our mental health. We all had one question: “When will this end?” To remind everyone of our highs and lows, we take a look at some of 2022’s most defining moments.
Covid nah keep
In March, the Government lifted protocols under the Disaster Risk Management Act. Jamaicans celebrated wantonly, happy that “di gate fly.” Life as we knew it finally returned. But with restrictions gone, we realized what damage had been done. So we set about rebuilding and restructuring to recover.
Thousands of revellers at carnival marked a slow return to normality after a three year hiatus from Covid-19. The 2022 staging of the event was dubbed the year of hope. People from all over the world came to Jamaica to dance in the streets and enjoy carnival unbothered by the summer heat.
Jamaica to di world!
In July, Jamaica came out of the World Athletics Championship with 10 medals, placing third. Our sprint queen became the GOAT by winning her fifth world championship 100m gold medal with a WAC record of 10.67 seconds. Fraser-Pryce led Shericka Jackson and Elaine Thompson-Herah to complete the first-ever sweep of the women’s 100m of that meet. It was the clearest signal that Jamaica’s impact on the world track will continue.
Make Jamaica great again
Celebrating the country’s diamond jubilee gave us some cherished memories. The Independence Float and Street Parade returned in all its grandeur, showcasing key aspects of Jamaican culture. Grand Gala was the finale of the celebrations, with great music, drama, song and dance by costumed and uniformed groups, along with popular artistes. Its highlight was a display of 300 glittering drones spelling Jamaica 60 and the theme ‘Reigniting a Nation for Greatness” and depicting Jamaican icons and national symbols.
School uniforms now big concern
School attire and punishment for breaches sparked a national debate. Principals and policy makers seemed unclear about the rules. Many parents were unhappy students were barred from school for infractions. Others said those who break the rules should face consequences. A side issue was uniform design, often not ideal given Jamaica’s climate.
Commission bans ‘choppa songs’
The Broadcasting Commission banned music that glorifies scamming, use of illicit drug Molly, and illegal guns. The intent is to keep airwaves free of harmful content given the supportive role traditional media plays in socialisation. The Commission says promoting these songs on public airwaves gives the impression the county agrees with their message. Many Jamaicans disagree. They claim music and popular culture are always blamed for the island’s issues.
If nothing else, 2022 taught us that there is calm in the midst of chaos, happiness in the midst of misery, and that life is not one dimensional. Sun can’t fall every day, rain haffi shine!