“[…] Connecting with people once again and dancing in unison with strangers, drinking their rum and revelling in the fact that they were finally free to enjoy themselves in the way they truly wanted to for way too long.
“Lockdown is finally over and the fun has just begun, or so they thought. Completely oblivious to the horrible plague that was about to hit them…”
Sixteen-year-old St Joseph’s Convent (Port of Spain) Form 3N student Kadar Mohammed is the fifth shortlisted writer for the 16-18 category of the Wired868 Write Start competition. Their topic is to ‘describe the ways in which you think the first post-Covid-19 Carnival will be different from its predecessors’:
Will the Covid -19 pandemic ever really end? Or will it continue for years on end? Would it be the end of us, or would we learn to live with it?
There are two sides to this spectrum, and you will read about both today.
On one side of the spectrum within the last year (2021) the Covid-19 virus has started fading into the background, and while risks persist and stakes do remain high, to us Trinidadians we now accept it as a part of life—contracting it is no longer seen to be as dangerous as it once was.
Some people even consider the coronavirus as simple as the common cold, barely batting an eye at it anymore. It is like we’ve all become immune to the fear. It makes me wonder about the vaccine; have they even been vaccinated?
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the virus wrecked total havoc. It came like a tsunami, one wave after another, each creating more destruction than the last.
Very few were able to endure the hardships that came with this pandemic, no longer able to tell what the future holds for our generation. The dreaded battles, the stolen power, few men would dear speak of this, and why is that?
Because for them the pandemic isn’t the only thing to worry about, right now. Survival is priority while the other joys and comfort of life were snatched away. There are more pressing life or death situations, those who didn’t survive, well, they are now subjected to a cycle of control, basically zombies.
Survivors are fighting for their lives—most are ready to throw in the towel, accept their fate and the death or uncertainty that awaits them.
Now, let’s give ourselves the upper hand on this side of the spectrum and embrace our Caribbean culture, shall we?
The world is back up and operating and many people are back to living their normal lives as if the pandemic never existed. The day that every ‘Trini’ was yearning for had finally returned. The Caribbean’s most intriguing event, Carnival, has once again made its appearance.
This was one of the most missed and desired celebration for Trinis during the pandemic and everyone is ecstatic and bouncing on their tippy toes like a child eager to get their hands on candy.
For this auspicious occasion everyone had already bought their festive, glamorous and unique costumes in preparation for this joyous day.
Now there are two types of people who are revealed on this delightful day—what they don’t know however, is the dreary reality awaiting those in participation. Those who choose to be safe and take the red pill, and those who choose to be daring and take the blue pill.
Users of the red pill will be the germaphobes, much like Eddie from the popular horror movie ‘It’, taking utmost precautions to stay away from the infected population and silently judging the carnival junkies for their incompetence and willingness to put their lives at stake all for a ‘dumb’ celebration; when in reality, the ones who chose to take the blue pill just want to enjoy themselves and make up for lost time.
This last group really don’t care about contracting any type of disease, and what’s the opposite of a global pandemic? Trinidad carnival.
That being said, Carnival was in full swing; the streets are lined with joyful people dressed in their favourite costumes as soca plays from tents. What was once a ghost town, now a country again bursting with erratic life and vibes that only a Trinidadian could offer.
Paint of vibrant hues covered every part of their exposed bodies, the excess, colouring the bleak streets and lonely buildings. Crowds of energy having the time of their lives whining, jumping-up and dancing to the sweet sound of music.
Connecting with people once again and dancing in unison with strangers, drinking their rum and revelling in the fact that they were finally free to enjoy themselves in the way they truly wanted to for way too long.
Lockdown is finally over and the fun has just begun, or so they thought. Completely oblivious to the horrible plague that was about to hit them.
The new outbreak of infections swept through the parade undetected yet, just like starving lions looking for their next victim, they pounce on any moving thing that catches their eyes. And just like that, we’re back to square one—but this time, it’s much, much worse.
All it took was a single sneeze, and these hypothetical lions lunged into action creating chaos. Microscopic virus infused droplets filtered through the air and began to spread like a wildfire.
Until now, this all seemed like a science fiction. These unprecedented symptoms started to transform citizens into the living dead. People are tucked away in their houses, cowering in fear of the inevitable unknown waiting for them outside an already fickle door. The enemy is striking their immune system trying to force their way inside their bodies.
The rattling will never stop if they know you’re alive for they are hungry. The ‘free-up’ life that us Trinidadians fought so hard to rebuild now finds itself in impossible and unfortunate captivity.
Carnival somehow called us out to the streets of Port-of-Spain to face our greatest enemy, coronavirus, but are we prepared for round two?
Can the vaccine save us now?
Editor’s Note: Wired868 will announce the winners of the inaugural Write Start competition on 13 December 2021. The first place winner will get TT$6,000, a six-month mobile plan from bmobile, and two complimentary movie tickets to CinemaONE.
Click HERE for more information on the Wired868 Write Start prize structure and do share your favourite essays!