When are we going to get it?
Last week Dr Keith Rowley, prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, said unless there is a dramatic turn of events regarding COVID-19, carnival ova deh nah keep.
Now, let us take a good, long look at this statement. Trinidad and Tobago carnival is THE carnival for the Caribbean. Jamaica and Barbados et al nuh badda come beat me.
Trini carnival has such deep cultural and social roots there, it is undoubtedly their national pride and joy. So when you hear their leader, who no doubt would have grown up in the culture of ‘playing mas’, saying that holding such an event would be “madness” under the current climate, is a telling sign. So Rowley undastand di ting wid di coronavirus.
So why we in Jamaica, land we (allegedly) love, can’t get it all now? And I’m not talking about our carnival plans. I’m talking about daily life.
Our COVID death toll is going up daily, some days by five or eight. And we still nah get it. The number of critically ill and hospitalised is also rising, and we still nah wear nuh mask, the most basic of protocols. I’m not quarrelling with the people who are out on the road trying to hustle to make a living. ‘Cause invariably, dem have on mask and a sanitise wid dem likkle bottle. Plus, quite simply, not everyone can ‘work from home’.
I’m talking about the others, from all walks of life and sectors of society, who are either ‘skirting’ or downright flouting the rules.
You can still keep you round robin; the people just pass through, hand over dem money, buy two drinks and leave. Nutten hard ‘bout dat.
You can still have a little get-together at home. Just a few people, and I mean FEW. Wear unnu mask and enjoy yourself. It nuh difficult.
But people a keep event weh dem nuh have no permit for wid all 100 people. Who feel like wear mask, dem do it.
House party a keep with 50 to 60 people a pass through. Nightspots uptown a keep when dem supposed to lock.
Then afterwards, persons who were a part of these gatherings post negative COVID test results as if to say, ‘see, it was no big deal’. Except, it was, and still is a very big deal. Because other people are doing the same thing but getting very different results.
So the question I ask is, what is it going to take for us to really get it? People in their 20s dying? How about teenagers? God forbid, children?
Sounds morbid, but it appears as if, because many of those who have perished were over a certain age, it doesn’t faze us.
For the record, I am not calling down the angel of death on any group. I hope that between my time of writing this and you reading it, we haven’t had any more deaths. I hope we don’t have any more, full stop.
But just like hurricanes, Jamaicans love to wait until the roof start fly before they start searching for the hammer and nail. Well folks, hurricane Corona is very much blowing. What are we doing?
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