suzanne-mills

 

OUR “oneversation” would have followed this trail.

My mother: “You are what? You are going on TV to talk about the dangers of going out to party in Corona times, after you went to a bar and caught it?

“Look child.”

For those who remember her, they know my late mother had little patience. For what she deemed nonsense. Whatever our ages. Whoever we were: child, friend of child, grandchild, adult, employee.

For me to go out to have gone out to a bar like those students did in Florida, catch coronavirus, and then want to be giving interviews, would have to her been an intolerable, annoying embarrassment.

“This child has to have truly lost her mind.”

She would probably trace my insanity to that night when I was about 19 and was riding with a wildish posse and we went to Maracas with some chicken, rum and a boom box. Our perfect, infallible plan was to dip the chicken in the sea for seasoning, then toss it onto a fire we had built, followed by a dousing of rum.

It was those halcyon days when you could be on a beach at any hour and be safe.

Night became morning. I know this because when I opened my eyes, so astonished were they by the torrid sunlight, they quickly shut their lids again.

I was in a heap of trouble. But had it been worth it? The chicken was good.

Oh, the joy of youth.

The CNN interviews of three of the Florida bar goers, now Covid-19 positive, if not crazy, were of great consequence. They told host Chris Cuomo, himself taken out of commission by Covid-19 for weeks, that though their symptoms were mild, they realised it had been too soon to go out into packed pubs. The world, watching the USA, could have told them that one had to re-open less aggressively.

In the students’ defence they said they had been given guarantees by their state and local officials that the economy could raise its shutters for business and that it was safe to go out to comingle. Without masks or physical distancing!

At the Federal level you have a president so mendicant and narcissistic that he equates testing quite cleverly and cynically to the number of cases showing positive and not to the number of deaths. The scientists have stated that testing needs to increase. The death toll is beyond belief. Yet, Trump intends to defund testing, so that Covid will disappear as an existential threat to his re-election. Diabolical and dumb. His citizens will still fall ill and hospital beds in “red hot” counties and cities are growing scarce.

It is as if thinks he can hoodwink his people and he is willing to forfeit a few hundred thousand, as he holds his rallies in hot spots, in defiance of Covid. His poor performance in Tulsa was a bad stand-up routine and karma for the dead. Let him continue to defy destiny.

Outside his rally venue, as they camped waiting for the MAGA man to arrive, his supporters showed tremendous ignorance of reality, as they parroted Trump’s spiel: “Coronavirus is like the flu.”

“The ‘rioters’ were not concerned about corona. Why should we be?”

The American president is particularly dismissive of the old and infirmed and the underclass who will get the virus and likely die. His latest mantra is that the new cases were mainly young people who barely suffered at all. However, it must be remembered that young people are vectors and half of the new cases are under 35. They are super spreaders.

Which makes me wonder. Comorbidity, deep inequalities, old age, and the tendency to put oneself before society notwithstanding, could the US have more cases, and deaths, also due to its worship of youth? Its Dorian Gray Syndrome.

The generations that came before are expected to lie down and die and let the youths live their lives, as if anyone over 50 is expendable, and hadn’t earned the right to retire and to be free. As soon as the World Health Organisation and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stats showed that young people were the least affected age group, there was an attitude in the US that never mind if they exposed the elderly and enfeebled. No masks.

The irony is rich: a man in his seventies is defying death and cares only for the economy and the youth. He shivers as cold statues, odes to Jim Crow and slavery and even framers of the US, are toppled. But he has no hesitation calling on his attorney general to rip up the actual Constitution.

Life has a way of laughing at us. Trump wanted to isolate America. Now, it stands almost alone. Europe may keep its borders closed to the US, as every citizen is seen as a walking Covid-19 case. Jamaica opened it borders to tourists and the number of cases jumped. T&T cannot make the same error.

Most of the world stuck to the rules: we stayed inside and re-opened tentatively in phases; we followed the science. Americans did not. Let the Yankees keep the second wave. Build that wall!

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