A practical joke gone too far caused a St Mary resident, Byron Wilson, to burst into tears after he received a phone call from one of his mischievous friends telling him that he may be a carrier of the novel coronavirus.
"A dead mi dead right now, enuh. When mi get the call a tru mi never see anywhere to chuck off why mi never dweet. The woman whe call mi talk good to, enuh, so 'til mi coulda barely understand her. She coulda pass fi a doctor, a so she sound," he said.
Wilson, who works with a cable company in the parish, said the caller had told him that she was a health worker and he had contact with someone who had tested positive for the deadly virus.
The caller also told him that health authorities would be visiting him at his Forte George Road home to take him into isolation.
With tears streaming down his face and his clothes partially drenched with perspiration, he told THE STAR that this is no joking matter although a few of his loved ones laughed hysterically.
"Whoi mi dead now. Mi nuh like dem sumpn yah, enuh, worse mi is a man whe easy fi catch flu. Mi-do everything inna mi powers nuffi catch da virus yah and now a wah kinda call dis mi a get. Mi smoke cigarette, enuh, and mi sanitise the cigarette before mi put it in a mi mouth. Mi spray off mi shoes bottom before mi even go inna mi yard. Mi rather dead before mi catch corona. Right now, mi nuh feel good," he said between tears.
The 51-year-old stated that ever since Jamaica recorded its first positive case of COVID-19 in March, he has been taking extra precaution to prevent himself from contracting the virus.
"Mi fix TV and before mi look at dem mi have to spray them first. Mi nuh wah nobody run dem joke deh with mi. Di way mi fraid a it, mi not even go road. A just straight work and mi yard. If mi a go sidung, mi sanitise the seat first," he said.
His wife and other family members tried to comfort him between giggles, telling him that they are fully aware of who the prankster is. But Wilson was not having it.
The Government since announced quarantine for three St Mary communities, Dover, Enfield and Annotto Bay, after a sharp increase in the number of parish cases in the past week.
The quarantine will expire at 6 a.m on Thursday, May 21.
Thirteen persons have tested positive for COVID-19 in St Mary, and the Health Ministry said its investigations show that they had moved about a lot which increases the risk of exposure to other persons in the communities.
Wilson says he welcomes the ministry's measures and hopes that it will help greatly in curbing the virus. The joke, however, was not far from his mind.
"Fi mi head nah come back good fi now, enuh. A tru a man don't even know yah man. Right yah now, mi don't know if mi a go live the way mi a fret. Right now mi nuh waan nobody inna di yard come near mi," he said as the tears streamed down his face.