#COVID19Chronicles-292: January 24, 2021-Death duties in Jamaica

No police showed up to check on how well COVID protocols were being observed at the burial. Restrictions on funeral services (banned) and numbers at burials (maximum 15 people at the burial site) have been in place for months.

I’m not surprised the police didn’t show because the ‘road’ was not good; not terrible, but bumpy and narrow.

Apart from the man who appeared at the start with a cup of white rum and Coke, and was clearly talking in tongues, everyone wore a mask and tried to be socially distant. He wanted to be closer to the coffin as it entered the sepulchre 😳

Current rules are that funeral services are banned. The ‘pre-burial’ event was taking place in an open field, just up a hill from where the burial would take place.

Chairs had been set out 2m/6 feet apart, and only enough for about 20 people near the casket. More chairs were available and those who used them found spots on the grass verge across the road from the tent where the body was.

The sepulcher had been prepared and a pile of sand and cement was ready for when the concrete was to be mixed and the casket placed inside it.

It was an overcast day, thankfully; trees had been cut down and back to make space for the burial ceremony. But, this is a area filled with trees and bushes growing wild, adjacent to a couple of houses.

It was a nicely elevated spot in south Manchester.

After the ceremony, the casket was slid down a slope into the sepulcher and blocks cemented into the opening. Then, people started to wander away and grab a box lunch and drink; some found places to sit and eat, we took ours to carry. I took my baked chicken and ate it en route to Kingston. (I’m fasting, so wanted to eat so that I could just about stay within my current eating window that closed about 3pm.) We stopped at the yam park on the highway and a vendor rushed to offer some roast yellow yam. Sorry! No carbs. 😳😩🇯🇲

Raindrops appeared just as we set off again and followed with solid rain for about 20 minutes. A rainbow arced across our path as we hit the highway-nice send off 🙏🏾

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Author: Dennis G Jones (aka 'The Grasshopper')

Retired International Monetary Fund economist. My blog is for organizing my ideas and thoughts about a range of topics. I was born in Jamaica, but spent 30 years being educated, living, and working in the UK. I lived in the USA for two decades, and worked and travelled abroad, extensively, throughout my careers and for pleasure. My views have a wide international perspective. Father of 3 girls. Also, married to an economist. :)

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