Maroons focus on boosting immune system amid COVID-19

WITH five cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Portland, thousands of Maroons in Charles Town are bracing for the impact of the deadly disease by bolstering their immune system “with more herbs and medicine”, Acting Colonel Marcia Douglas has disclosed.

The maroon chief, in an interview with the Jamaica Observer on Monday, accepted that local transmission of the virus is inevitable, with six of the country’s 73 cases not epidemiologically linked and two still under investigation.

“There is not a full lockdown of the country,” Douglas remarked, “Persons are still moving freely under a limited curfew, so there is nothing to prevent the virus from spreading here.”

Pointing to Breastworks in Port Antonio, where the first COVID-19 case for the parish was confirmed in March, Douglas informed that the area serves as the entrance to Moore Town — another settlement in the parish that is home to scores of Maroons.

“People travel; people get around. Breastworks is right there. That’s the entrance to Moore Town and people travel from one community to another. There are people living in Breastworks that have their relatives living right here in Charles Town, so moving from one community to another. yes, it will spread,” said Douglas.

As a result of this possibility, the acting colonel said that Maroons have increased their intake of natural medicines.

“There’s no corona[virus] victim in our community, [but] what we are actually doing is we’re building our immune [system]. So we’re taking up our turmeric and our garlic and ensuring that we use our aloe vera and our orange, because those are immunogisers.

“So we have, like, organic honey and lime, and that’s one of the ways that we normally boost our system by making hot lemonade. We’re making more hot liquid now, instead of cold liquid. So instead of making a lemonade drink, we make the lemonade tea. So we use a lot of lime, we use the honey, we use the orange, and there’s pineapple. Not many people know that pineapple has in more substance to boost your immune system, even more than oranges. You can also make the juice from pineapple,” Douglas said. “You can also use apple, the young bud of the apple leaves to make a drink with coconut water. Run it through your blender or your extractor and you have that; drink it twice per week to bring your immune system up to standard.”

In the meantime, she said the Maroons, some 2,500 of which are based in Charles Town, have been abiding by the government orders in place to curtail the spread of the disease in the country.

“We are treating [the orders] with respect. We know that we should keep our distance, social distance, wash our hands often, and have no gatherings. We have been doing all of that, so currently when the curfew begins, whatever time it begins, you’ll not have people on the streets. You’ll have people within their homes,” Douglas shared.

“We are also working with the Buff Bay police in maintaining the social distancing and order, and keeping the citizens protected,” she stated.

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