I am pleased that the government has seen the wisdom to cancel this year’s carnival; even though it sounded like the Minister of Culture was doing his best to keep a window open so that something could still happen.
I have no problem with having virtual shows, i.e. without audiences. If, for example, the calypsonians want to have a virtual Calypso Monarch Competition, all well and good, let them have it. And the soca people, if they want to have one too, fine.
(Not so sure about other shows like King and Queen of the bands. Don’t see how that could work but you never know.)
The thing, though, is the ban on large gatherings and street jump-ups. None of that please.
I recall the Rowley Government in Trinidad allowing Carnival in 2020 and not taking into account that there was something called a new coronavirus about. He took no warning.
Carnival happened as usual with loads and loads of people coming in from overseas, many of them carrying the coronavirus, and from then the COVID-19 took hold of Trinidad and up to today they are still struggling with testing and with vaccination.
And we have had our mistakes as well. How many people don’t see that it was after the reopening of the airport, i.e. the recommencement of international flights, and the staging of Nine Mornings activities across the state, that we had a surge in the number of persons infected by the coronavirus.
We have to learn from the Trinidad experience and from our own mistakes. There should be no compromise on this, not like in 1979 when the government allowed a street jump-up with one band.
We are still in the middle of a pandemic and anything we can do to curb the situation we must do, like cancelling Carnival as we know it.
Good move, Mr. Government.
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