By Jamil Matar
I wanted to take a pass this week because of a chewing accident, but I decided to put something together quickly because the Covid-19 situation is getting worse, especially here in OW. Regarding my incident, yesterday a craboo seed slipped past my incisors and damaged one of my back molars and I need to consult a dentist urgently. Since my appointment is for one p.m. I believe a couple of hours might be sufficient to meet The Guardian’s deadline. So please excuse my brevity and allow me to complete my essay in a nip.
A few nights ago, the news segment that attracted most attention was the police raid on a private party in Belize City, which had gathered more than 20 attendees. It seems that one or more of the partygoers had previously been tested for the virus and should have been in self-isolation. These suspected cases decided to do otherwise, thereby eventually exposing the health of hundreds if not thousands of Belizeans. Thankfully, they are all now in quarantine.
I do not know how many of you recall the popular television drama series in the nineties titled “Law and Order”. In one of its episodes, the NY District Attorney was contemplating filing murder two charges against a man who knew he was HIV positive, yet he was going around seducing young women and engaging in unprotected sex. In the end, there was no law against such reprehensible behavior, so the case fell apart, but the man was exposed for all to see. In real life, during that same period in NYC, a man who was HIV positive was criminally charged for biting a police officer. He was served with some charge or the other called attempted grievous harm.
It would seem to me that what is happening in our society today is a pervasiveness of “bad mind”. The mentality is that, if I have it, I want others to catch it, so that we are on the same boat. Such is the only conclusion I can draw from what is happening in several places in our community. To suggest that the police should be tasked with individually guarding Covid-19 subjects is not practical. From what I understand, there are more patients today than there are police officers.
For this virus to be defeated, the entire community has to act in coherence with and out of respect for each other, and with the common objective. To this end, I am making a special appeal to all infected or suspected individuals to value the rest of Belizeans who are trying their best to stay far from a source of the virus. Many of us are extremely vulnerable and it is literally a matter of life and death.
I also want to warn parents of simple toy-like rubber balloons. I personally saw a man manually blowing up rubber balloons in the shape of animals to sell to children. The man had his helium tank in his cart, but I guess he is intent on maximizing profits, so what cheaper way than with a lung full of air. The only thing is, this was acceptable in times past, but these days, if the balloon man is asymptomatic, and should his balloons break in a crowd, imagine the spread of the corona! In another instance, it is said that a man who was full of Covid-19 went for a trim at a centralized barbershop in town. Thankfully, the barber and his friends knew of the man’s condition, and did not allow him to enter the shop.
In closing, the PUP candidate for the East called a talk show on which Hon. Aragon was a guest, and tried to belittle the UDP Standard Bearer about disseminating the alleged rumor of contamination at his Town Hall. Creole have a saying,” if da no so, da naaly so”. I subscribe to a better proverb, however, “better safe than sorry”. I keep far from any such place, rumor or not. In this case, it is my understanding that the rumor was not fictitious. Truth will always out.
By Jamil Matar