Germageddon

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Ebola is at the forefront in many ways than one and you know when things are bad in Trinidad and Tobago when people start making up jokes as a coping mechanism.  So overheard a caller on the radio today: “You go by the doctor to find out if you have Ebola and the doctor tells you well hear nah,  you don’t have Ebola but you’re HIV Positive! which then makes you shout for joy: Thank you Jesus Thank the Lord!”. The radio announcer says he knows he shouldn’t be laughing but it’s funny because the thinking is at least you can live with HIV…sigh….Imagine the biggest debate in Trinidad and Tobago regarding Ebola is if to cancel Carnival in 2015…-_- Carnival yuh know, dat is what people studying!!!

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Everything is a joke in this country. That’s how we deal…..

This deadly disease is on my mind because germs are transmitted so easily as far as I see. No amount of pitchy hand-washing campaigns by the Ministry of Health and hand-sanitizers on sale in exotic fragrances of Japanese Cherry Blossom and Midnight Pomegranate can sway the fact that germs still bounce from here to there. People still sneeze and cough wildly in public, in taxis and buses and still talk animatedly over food being sold (watch your doubles vendor). Today I saw one of my students sucking her thumb and it dawned on me that it’s a habit that can exacerbate the germ-spreading much like biting the nails, both of which are mostly done so absent-mindedly, both of which are ever-present in schools….yikes….

I’m no germophobe but my mother always clued me in to germ-spreading when I was growing up so much so that I was forced to “see” germs being spread. So I used to press the button in the bus with my knuckle, open doors with my forearms/elbows, hold my bag on my shoulder when I have to use a public restroom, pump the soap with the corner of my wrist and I have hand sanitizer in every one of my handbags and my car. I’m not perfect with it and I certainly won’t reach my mom and her level of OCD where she takes grocery cheddar out of the plastic, washes it and then proceeds to slice……..yes…….I’ve talked to her about that.

My daughter Mam’zelle sucks her thumb, a habit she picked up before she breathed air. When she was born she was searching wildly for the finger by the mouth so much so the head nurse exclaimed “Aye Aye! She fass! Look she suckin finger! Chile yuh jus’ born!” I’ve never cut the habit with her because I too know the sweetness, so too my husband, same issue, same hand, (is thumb-sucking genetic?) and I figure she will cut that out very soon. She doesn’t do it in school which tells you the level of pride (or shame) that she has. So when I pick her up and I don’t hear her antics in the car, I know she’s sucking the thumb as though she suffered withdrawal and de feeling so sweet but then I have to yell about germs and cleanliness, rinse and repeat the following day. Sometimes she asks me “Can I suck my finger now?” or she would casually ask if I have hand-sanitizer as if we’re talking about the weather (“oh, by the way…”).

It’s all well and good with the common cold and sundry other mutated forms of viruses that I can battle with doctor visits, meds, excessive talking and frenzied harping and hand-washing but Ebola??? Who am I against a disease that is dismantling West Africa, is one-up in the US, crept into Brazil and made it’s way into Spain and Germany’s news headlines? I am praying to God that Ebola doesn’t make its way into Trinidad and Tobago because we are studying Carnival and at our very best I don’t think we are anywhere close to handling it the way we should and if it’s one thing about this country, ting does realll spread.

Stay safe and be wisely informed. Pick sense from nonsense.

Bless up

TMIDM

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