There are teachable moments with COVID that has come like an assassin on a vindictive mission.
Lesson one. Be grateful for the essential services workers who’re called upon to serve us during challenging times. It’s not just another job. It’s the personal sacrifices that come with it, which call for courage and commitment as their health and safety are also at risk. It’s in moments like this—the perfect storm of a humanitarian and financial crisis—that we become most aware of the value of these citizens, many of whom are among the lowest paid. The rampage of COVID should teach us to value and reward their services as if our survival always depends on them. It does.
Teacher COVID instructs how easy it is for humans to become as extinct as the dinosaurs. There’s a cycle of life, and we too would vanish or evolve into something else one day, so arrogance doesn’t matter. It’s an arrogance that’s pathological. We feel that our gods had put every other sentient being on Earth to serve our depravities. We cage them. We eat beyond our needs. We hunt them for leisure, take their habitats in the name of economic survival, and destroy eco-systems—the lungs of the Earth.
Teacher COVID tells us that in the scheme of all life, humans are expendable and all the material wealth in the world is worth zero. It teaches us that the lives of kings, queens, emperors and empresses, leaders of the world, and billionaire tycoons aren’t worth any more than the prisoners, paupers, and refugees' own
As we buckle under the effects of COVID, think. In 2018 alone an estimated 405,000 people died of malaria—that’s 1,109 a day, mostly children. Over 20,000 refugees have lost their lives in the past couple of years. The flu kills as many as 650,000 people every year, but COVID is deadlier, and there’s no preventable vaccine, yet.
COVID teaches that bigotry is irrelevant. The hated migrants, in their thousands, are in hospitals right now, saving the lives of extremists and supremacists.
COVID teaches that millions stock up toilet rolls to ride out its deadly rage. Still, they don’t heed advice to protect themselves and the expression “birdbrain” should be redefined. Don’t insult those intelligent creatures that hide when danger lurks. Humans? They throw parties, picnic by river, and go on cruises. Idiocy.
COVID teaches us how crass leaders can be, and that we should redefine what is meant by “developed” country and “third world”—described as sh--hole. COVID has flipped the coin. Just imagine, if there aren’t enough ventilators and yuh over 65 with COVID, “yuh dogs dead” as we Trinis would say. A Texan governor believes that grandparents should volunteer to die to save the economy. Now, why didn’t he consult with his 73-year-old boss who would have said that his beautiful, beautiful daughter has beautiful, beautiful children, but he’s not a grandpa? Evidently, some people don’t have to get COVID to lose their sense of smell. They have no idea how bad the crap they spew in our faces, smells, and should download it in the crapper bowl.
Well, well. What about the pastors with big churches, houses, cars, purchased with the tithes of their pay cheque-to-pay cheque flock? Hey! Feed my lamb, feed my sheep! Take some millions from the vaults and under mattresses and help those who have lost jobs. Lay your hands on the foreheads of COVID’s victims and heal them. God will protect you, and when you die, you’ll go to heaven.
COVID teaches about corbeaux behaviour—those big scavenger birds that always look like they’re going to a funeral or to give a sermon. Nope. It’s the ones that wait to pick the flesh of initiatives to protect us. Politicking? Hmm. We born before COVID!
There are so many lessons of COVID, like diversifying the economy by producing our basic foods and essential medical supplies. Why should we import face masks and protective clothing? There’s a ready CARICOM market.
Out of evil cometh good. Nature gets a respite. The birds, the bees and fishes of the sea are free with humans locked up. And, we should expect a baby boom nine months from now. Renewal!