Community Focus | I gave the season to the people, MP says

Member of Parliament (MP) for St. Catherine North West, Hugh Graham, said the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is not being wasted in Jamaica, adding that it has awakened the humanitarianism that seemingly had fallen asleep in a number of people.

“That, to me, is a positive take-away,” he reasoned. “As someone would say, you don’t waste a good pandemic. If you ask why the pandemic came, I think it was to touch our humanity.”

Graham did not go untouched.

On Christmas Day, he distributed cooked meals to 200 less fortunate people, including those in the streets, at Linstead Public Hospital and at Linstead Police Station. He said his team also provided an additional 100 people with food packages.

Graham also co-sponsored a treat in which The Jamaica Beacon, in observation of its third anniversary on December 30, fed 150 people.

The MP said he used the Yuletide season to also push measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 especially in Linstead, which is the main town in his constituency.

His team installed wash stands in Linstead town and provided soap and sanitizers. On Christmas Eve, Graham and his volunteers also walked the streets of Linstead and distributed masks and sanitizers.

Amid the apprehension and hopelessness surrounding COVID-19, the MP re-painted and decorated the Linstead Bridge to give the structure what he described as a ‘London Bridge feel’. The Linstead Bridge had not received a facelift in years.

Graham explained: “I thought that, in the pandemic, people are looking depressed and it seemed that everything is going in the wrong direction – people don’t have any money to spend, and [are affected by] the curfew hours implemented to control the spread [of COVID-19]. We just tried to bring some cheer to persons – a little glimmer of hope to tell them to continue press on because all is not lost.”

Graham noted that Christmas 2020 was the first Yuletide season he experienced as MP, consequent on the result of the September 3 General Election in his constituency.

“It’s my first Christmas as Member of Parliament. I definitely had to make the people know what they voted for, and that they signed up for somebody who is interested in them and in their lives… Basically, I just gave the season to the people,” Graham said.


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