But now I am cabined,
Bound in to saucy
Doubts and fears.
Even from those days Shakespeare wrote about being confined, cribbed and suffering from cabin fever — the term given to people who have been confined to a small space for a long time and yearn to get out.
It comes from when settlers in the wild frontier had to spend the long winter trapped in a tiny log cabin with nowhere to go until the snow and ice thawed. Imagine being locked up with a family — wife, children, puss and dog in a one-room log cabin.
Well, we have no winter here, except the winter of discontent caused by this coronavirus, and many people are suffering from that same said cabin fever that I described. Various measures have been taken to contain its spread, with one being curfews, which ironically can have ironic results than what they were intended for.
What is a curfew anyway? The dictionary defines it as: ‘An order specifying a time during which certain regulations apply. Typically it is the time when individuals must stay indoors. Such an order may be issued by public authorities, but also by the owner of a house to those living in the household.’
Wait a minute now, that last line resonates with some husbands who I know, for they have been living under curfew for many years, long before COVID even arrived. So, for them it’s no big thing, business as usual, as they’re used to it.
Even so, let’s see what COVID curfew offers, right after these responses to what I posited about ‘Crimedemic’.
Previous to reading your column I heard that Jamaica has one of the highest crime rates in the world. I wanted some perspective and did some research. The city of Toronto has a population of about 2.7 million with 78 murders in 2019, while Jamaica has a population of about 2.9 million with 1,332 murders the same year. Surely this does not bode well for Jamaica’s travel/tourist industry or its people, but I suspect that criminals don’t give a damn anyway.
You are spot on. This crimedemic is worse than corona as it takes more lives and causes more suffering. Every day criminals laugh their way out of court with clever lawyers who exploit loopholes in the justice system. Murderers and accessories to murder get a slap on the wrist because they agreed to plead guilty or plea bargain. The rest of us cower in fear and dare not trample on the rights of these criminals. There is no vaccine for them. Lord, help us.
Well, here we are still in the midst of the pandemic, with a glimmer of hope being the vaccine which is designed to curtail the spread of the virus. Kudos to the authorities for conducting a smooth and orderly vaccine campaign. But vaccines alone won’t do it, as the proper protocols still have to be adhered to.
But knowing how people are irresponsible, undisciplined and downright careless, the authorities have to curtail this wanton stupid behaviour with other measures. Enter the curfew, which is not unique to Jamaica, as almost every country in the world has instituted some sort of lockdown measure.
The results have been mixed, with one thing being common, the people don’t like it very much, as they think that their freedoms and human rights are being violated. Many folks in the USA and parts of Europe have defied and demonstrated against these curfews, but still they stand.
Some jurisdictions have strict curfews, far more than we have, with many offering only a small window of hours in which people can go out on the streets. New York restaurants have a midnight curfew and they bawl about it, while for some countries it’s 6:00 pm.
At present ours begins at 8:00 pm and is lifted at 5:00 am when it’s business as usual. Over the Easter weekend though, the screws were tightened a bit, with no movement allowed on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. Only on the Saturday in-between was there a respite between 5:00 am and 12 noon when the curtain was raised.
So you can just imagine how the people reacted to that small window of opportunity. That’s right, they scampered out of their cages like bats flying out of hell to forage for food. As for the Thursday before Good Friday, the shopping spree and frenetic folly like the world was coming to an end was the order of the day.
Some folks avoided this by shopping earlier in the week, but many couldn’t make that move until money was available, either from pay cheque or remittances from overseas. Disposable cash is not available to everyone.
Did the curfew defeat the purpose or did it achieve its objective? We’ll know when the data are tabulated and the statistics revealed. In the meantime, the curfew continues, and many people have different reactions. Some women are happy that their men are confined to the house and cyan’t guh a street as they used to.
“It’s the first time that we spend so much time together.”
For others it’s a nightmare, for being locked up with a miserable, nagging, snarling, picky picky, shrewish wife can be hell for some men. Some women feel this too, as a bullying, doggish, aggressive, domineering, brutish man can be a nightmare.
“Lord, I wish that he had somewhere to go to, but I’m trapped here with him.”
There’s a humorous statistical chart being circulated that says: During curfew, murders zero; housebreaking zero; larceny zero; domestic violence 143,000. It may be a joke yes, but the reality is, during the curfews, domestic violence did increase exponentially, as people got on each other’s nerves and simply couldn’t stand each other’s company.
Those who have large spaces may have an advantage, but people occupying a small space and cooped up for days may just blow a fuse.
“Who yu looking at? Stop look pon me.”
“Who looking pon yu?”
“Shut yu mout before a box yu.”
And so it begins, the COVID curfew conflict. Another downside to the curfew is the increased cases of sexual abuse against minors. The children are at home for an extended period of time with no school to go during the day. So are many adult males, locked away for all this time with the young girls in the space. As they say, “Yu put cream at puss mout, him going to lick it.”
Again, this does not apply to Jamaica only, but is a sad phenomenon that occurs worldwide. As for sex, that too is affected by COVID curfews. Many mistresses are suffering, for the men can’t leave their wives to spend any quality sex time with them. Some resort to daytime trysts, but it’s just not the same as spending long late hours at night relaxing and getting it on.
I read a report that even prostitutes are suffering because of the curfews, as business has all but literally dried up. Remember that their hours are mostly nocturnal, hence the term ‘Ladies of the night’ given to them. I’m sure that some are innovative and inventive, and try new marketing strategies, but it’s just not the same they say.
Hey, I have an idea, why not utilise the E-commerce National Delivery System (ENDS) platform where clients can place their order to an establishment and have it delivered to them? This experiment has been utilised with some success, as food is delivered during curfew hours. Couldn’t the prostitutes implement that too? The man would simply send in his preference and wait on delivery. I guess that they’d have to work out the kinks such as delivery charge, service fees and such, but it’s a thought for those working ladies.
Location would also be a challenge, for it’s theorised that most men who utilise the services of call girls are either married or involved with someone. For single people, loneliness is a very real and sad factor during curfew hours. Some watch lots of movies, fix up the house, cook, chat on the phone, or read. Did I say read? Hmm, reading for some is a dying pastime.
But even those other pastimes have their drawback, for as you can imagine, utility bills increase with higher usage.
“OMG, look how me light and water bills gone up sake a de curfew.”
One thing is true though, during the curfew hours crime goes down, except for the biff baff domestic crimes that I mentioned. Which makes you wonder, is the curfew meant to contain COVID or crime?
Remember, Viagra was originally produced for the control of hypertension, but the side effect was a turgid boon for floppy men. So curfew for COVID yes, but crime is curtailed as a spinoff.
Footnote: Despite the mounting evidence and statistics of how devastating this virus is, there are still many people who don’t take it seriously and continue as if it’s business as usual. Well, one business area that men take very seriously is their penis. So much so that some men refuse to take medicine for hypertension for fear that it causes impotence. A young man recently posted on social media about his erectile dysfunction due to being infected with COVID. He was candid as he explained how the virus resulted in him becoming impotent. I applaud his bravery, for it’s a condition that most men would not reveal, more so in public. We can only hope that his revelation will get the attention of the doubters regarding this virus and ensure that they observe the protocols, including taking the vaccine. Not only can COVID kill you, but it can kill your penis too.
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