With many Jamaicans growing restless at home due to COVID-19 measures, forcing the fun loving nation to stay indoors, many were angered when they learned that the annual Sigma Run was allowed to be held.
Advertised in part as a virtual event, Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run got underway on Sunday (February 21) with approximately 100 participants taking part in the run, in addition to groupings of spectators that were seen gathered along the sidelines.
Pictures and videos from the run, which showed security detailing in addition to police officers cordoning off streets for the event caught the public’s attention.
Attention which soon turned to outrage after the title sponsor for the event shared clips from the event on their social media, showcasing the runners in action.
Many Jamaicans , who took to social media platforms to share their views, saw the hosting of the event as contradicting the narrative which has been advanced by the government over the many months, which perpetuates the idea that large gathering (super spreader events ) are responsible for the rapid spread of the virus.
“Sigma Run being held is disappointing and extremely hypocritical,” tweeted one user.
“Can imagine how our athletes must feel, seeing that Sigma video? In an Olympic year. The fact that they allowed Sigma with 100 participants means that they approved their protocols. Why can’t the same can’t be done for other track meets? Athletes nuh have pension enu. Smh,” added another.
Of note is that many social media users cited the recent announcement in parliament in which Prime Minister Andrew Holness, in response to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases, tightened the curfew measures and reduced the gathering limit.
“I’m so over the hypocrisy of this government. Sigma Run can keep but I Cyaa go Wendy’s at night when I’m hungry,” tweeted one woman.
“What’s the difference between Sigma Run and eating with friends at Burger King ? I’m Trying to figure out how this government work out them logic’s, somebody explain please,” added another, trying to make sense of the day’s event.
Well over 9,000 tweets were made about the run which became a trend on the platform and led to a broader discussion about the perceived bias of the government to certain sectors and business interest and a deep contemplation about the effectiveness of the COVID-19 measures.
“Let’s play connect the dots, Anju can’t lock off him bonafide friend party – sorry I mean run” said one Twitter user.
“Then them never did a chat bout spike through illegal parties, which have less people, Brogad at work, you get what you vote for, what them seh 49-14 so don’t complain,” added another.
Others zeroed in on the fact that the Ministry of Health and Wellness, on Sunday reported another daily high of 458 new infections, making mention of the fact that the country was in the midst of another spike in the virus.
The conversation also reinvigorating a fierce discussion about the reopening of the entertainment industry which has remained closed for over 9 months.
It is reported that the 23rd staging of the run raised $42,017,420 which will go towards the Annotto Bay and Port Antonio hospitals.