Letters & Opinion

COVID Steel Donkey Can’t Stop We!

Iyanola Message to Bim in the Age of COVID-21

Image of Earl Bousquet
Chronicles Of A Chronic Caribbean Chronicler By Earl Bousquet

A quiet revolution is taking place on your screen that you may not (yet) have heard, but which you’ll soon hear, as it grows louder.

It’s an online program that’s revolutionized Caribbean Storytelling in the 21st Century, uniting storytellers across the Caribbean and The Diaspora, sharing stories online and offline, to the pleasant amazement of all tuned-in from everywhere…

The program reinvents and renames itself accordingly per show and is coordinated by a little giant of a young Caribbean mother named Ann Worme, working the keyboards and needling the threads, Under Lockdown, out of a corner at home in Barbados, stitching threads of laughter across Caribbean seas and skies to Africa and Asia, Europe and Australia, The Americas — and all of CARICOM.

It’s a real multinational Caribbean product, produced in Barbados and channeled worldwide through US-based Lampoon Radio.

Early Thursday morning, Ann needled me with a gentle early-morning WhatsApp pin-prick: ‘Since Barbados and Saint Lucia are both Under Lockdown, I want you to send us a solidarity message to Barbadians from Saint Lucians.’

I almost asked her ‘How is me, uh?’ – but, ‘Miss Ann’ is your digital version of our ‘ole tyme’ schoolteacher, who you just don’t dare say ‘No’ to…

So, to cut a long story short, here’s what I said…

The Message

Good Evening, One and All – and COVID Protocols having been established, please accept the next few COVID Comfort words from Lucians to Bajans.

Call it what you want: Lockdown Message to Bajans from Lucians, or as we say in Kweyol Lamitye, Solidawitay ek Fwaternitay Bai Gens Babad, Soti Hod Gen Sent Lisi; and/or, as my Bajan friends would say, ‘De Lockdown Lowdown From Sent Loosha.’

So, Bajans and Lucians are Locked-up Under Lockdown – almost half-a-million Caribbean souls of all colors, cultures and creeds, living today like never before.

Masked like unarmed bandits, we face Curfews and States of Emergency in Bimshire and Lucia – and a special 21-day sentence here, with Fines and possible Confines — for purchases of any kind of alcohol – Except visitors…

In Black Rock or Black Bay, we have to mark-time, Watch-and-Whine and ‘Walk-and-Wine’ trying to follow, online and offline, how to play Chinese Checkers and Snakes and Ladders on Draught-boards and Ludo tables with loaded dices – on devices.

‘We The People’ continue to be blamed for being ‘Too Hardheaded’ or ‘Too Lickrish’, as we continue swimming-against-the-tide of conspiracy theories – like China and Bill Gates in a COVID conspiracy to put microchips in rice grains and vaccinations, to depopulate Africa and takeover our minds in Barbados and Saint Lucia…

But the big issue right now is: To Vax or Not to Vax – and if To Vax, then Which Vax? And if not, Then What? Just Wait? To Live? Or to Die?

But we both in this, making COVID History together as we share ‘firsts’ in many COVID-Caribbean things: YOU were the first to have an entire prison under COVID Lockdown; WE are the first to have an online COVID protest by seven prison inmates turn last Tuesday night into a Friday the 13th by Wednesday morning at Bordelais…

But, despite the restrictive protective measures, there are things we MUST also do – like remembering (today and tomorrow) what Sparrow sang yesteryear, that ‘Soap and Water Keeps you Fresh and Clean…’

So, ‘Stay at Home’ and ‘Wash Your Hands…’

And remember too, what Michael Jackson said about the heat — and let’s ‘Beat it!’ (Yes, let’s Beat the Heat Under Lockdown — and not Beat Licks into each other…)

And also Sister Sledge, who taught us: ‘We are Family!’ (So, Learn to Live like Family, whether again or for the first time…)

Like you in Bim, our Lucian hospitals are also filled with virtually no more room for COVID patients – meaning, we each now have to be the nation’s and each other’s hospitals, by just having more patience…

Vaccines are coming Fast & Furious – from Astra to Zenica, Sputnik to Soberania, Local Farmers to Big Pharma.

But this COVID business is not as much about Dollars and Cents as about Common Sense, which still isn’t at all common.

Instead, COVID-19 is a subject of Numbers and Science — not plots and plans, or pots and pans; not a Plandemic, but a very costly 21st Century Pandemic.

So, those old enough, please join me as we Look-Ahead Under-Lockdown by Fast-Forwarding Back-in-Time to the Roaring Caribbean 60s and 70s, to recall, first of all, Guyana’s Eddie Hooper, who urged us, way back then, to ‘Take Warning…’

And remember too, the Draytons Two, De Dynamic Duo from the Age of Spouge, who also warned that if Bajans don’t do what we had to do, “Too late shall be your cry…’  — back then, when ‘De Steel Donkey’ was still ‘coming down to Bridgetown’ and De Merrymen warned Bajans to ‘Clear De Way!’

Well, none of us wants to cry and none of us wants to die; and as Peter Tosh reminded us, ‘Everybody wants to go to Heaven, but none of us wants to die…’

But even though we all still want to enter the Pearly Gates beyond The Great Beyond, let’s not make COVID-19 our One-Way Ticket to Heaven or Hell — Under Lockdown, in 2021.

Just think about it…

With over two million COVID-19 souls taking that single trip up-and-down the invisible escalators (to Heaven or Hell) in 2020, by now there must be COVID Prevention and Protection Protocols in place at all points of entry ‘Up There’ and ‘Down There’ — just like right here — to make it Crystal Clear: ‘You’re NOT WELCOME HERE!’

So, don’t be called a COV-IDIOT!

Just always remember to never, ever forget: The best way out of our daily COVID nightmare is to FIGHT COVID HERE – Yes, RIGHT HERE — not there, not elsewhere, but right here, morning, noon and night!

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