THE EDITOR: Having played mas from since the age of 18 and having done so from J’Ouvert, Carnival Monday, Tuesday and ‘las lap, fete until soaking wet, support and push pan for my favourite steelband during Panorama and even served as a Carnival judge, I can acclaim that I have “mas-fever in meh body.”
The DOMA list of suggestions for a Covid Carnival is irrational and speaks mainly to concerns merchants and store owners have over loss of revenue for 2021.
Imagine the following as suggested by DOMA: a three-foot diameter costume; who will be the mas maker and what about conditions at the mas camp? Then there is the moving parade of reduced numbers suggestion; who will comprise the audience and where will be the location?
Panorama judged on the move, DOMA says; what number of pannists and supporters, and who will control or supervise the performance in the panyards? Open air calypso tent; what will be the complement of the audience and how can you control the spew of saliva emitted (as evident from a virtual concert aired recently)?
The DOMA plan could see the assembling in large numbers of masqueraders and Carnival enthusiasts with a lack of social distancing which are contrary to covid19 public health regulations outlined by the State. In the throes of the covid19 pandemic and with the natural exuberance and fun-loving nature of our people, these suggestions are impractical.
Maybe the citizenry could explore the concept of the “Unique Carnival Covid masks,” and the population would be judged by the roving judges, with prizes donated by DOMA, over the period February 12 -16, 2021.
Why can’t we as a people this year try to enjoy the peacefulness of nature devoid of the revelry. Yes, there will be losses felt by the Carnival industry, but what is more important than life itself? People of TT, let us accept that the lack of Carnival 2021 will redound to our benefit, in ways that cannot be imagined, especially saving lives.
Therefore, it would be best if DOMA counts its losses this year and adhere to the view of the Prime Minister who last year said: “It would be madness to be talking about Carnival in February. Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago in 2021 is not on.” Stay safe!