Having played mas from age 18 to recently, and having done so from Jouvert, Carnival Monday, Tuesday and last lap, fete until soaking wet, supported and pushed pan for my favourite steelband during Panorama, and even serving as a Carnival judge, I can acclaim I have mas-fever in meh body.
Therefore, the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) list of suggestions for Covid Carnival is irrational, and speaks mainly to concerns of merchants and store owners’ loss of revenue for 2021.
Imagine the following, as suggested:
• Three-foot-diameter costumes. Who will be the mas makers, and what will be the condition at the mas camp?
• Moving parade of reduced numbers. Who will comprise the audience and where will be the location?
• Panorama judged on the move. What number of pannists, and supporters? And who will control or supervise the setting in the panyard?
• Open-air calypso tent. What will be the complement of the audience, and how will the spew of saliva emitted into the atmosphere be controlled?
The DOMA plan contributes mainly to assemblies in large numbers and lack of social distancing, that are contrary to the Covid-19 protocols outlined by our country’s Ministry of Health. In the throes of the pandemic, with the natural exuberance and fun-loving nature of our people, those suggestions are impractical.
Maybe the citizenry could explore the concept of the “unique Carnival Covid masks” and the population would be judged by the roving judges, with prizes donated by DOMA, over the period February 12 to 16, 2021.
What is more important than life itself?
Why can’t we as a people this year try to enjoy the peacefulness of nature, devoid of the revelry?
Yes, there will be losses from the industry. People of T&T, let us accept that the lack of Carnival 2021 will redound to our benefit in ways that cannot be imagined, especially saving lives.
Therefore, it would be best if DOMA counts its losses this year and adhere to the statement, “It would be madness to be talking about Carnival in February... Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago in 2021 is not on.” —Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.