Love in the time of corona

Love in the time of corona


Sunday, March 29, 2020

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Here lies a wretched corpse,

Of wretched soul bereft,

Seek not my name

A plague consume you wicked caitiffs left!

Here lie I, Timon, who alive all living men did hate

Pass by and curse thy fill, but pass,

And stay not here thy gait.

— Shakespeare, Timon of Athens, 5, 4


A plague consumes you. (caitiff: a contemptible cowardly person) What harsh words from that man, as he cursed his adversaries, ending with the words, 'And stay not here thy gait.' In other words, walk away and keep on moving, don't linger.

Plagues have been around for centuries and have even been chronicled in the Bible, when locusts, toads, flies, pestilence and various diseases tormented mankind. There have been other terrible plagues such as the bubonic plague that decimated medieval Europe as it was spread by flea-carrying rats. Scarlet fever, smallpox, polio, anthrax, the Spanish flu that killed between 80 million and 100 million people worldwide in 1918. Ebola in Africa took its deadly toll, as did SARS, swine flu, plus measles that killed over 140,000 just last year, HIV/Aids continues to kill millions over the years and now this cursed novel coronavirus is wreaking havoc worldwide.

Did I mention cholera? That plague had its time too and killed thousands of people right here in Jamaica and hundreds of thousands worldwide. There is this famous book, Love in the Time of Cholera, written by Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, which was also made into a movie. Both were brilliant.

Even in the midst of these health crises called plagues, there is still life and love, as we'll find out. Love in the time of corona, right after these responses to 'Prenup protection'.


Hi Tony,

People meeting and dating will always show their best side to impress and be accepted by the other. It is natural human behaviour when dating, as it is their aim to attract the prospective mate to holy matrimony. Men will sometimes let slip some bad habits, but the woman will always think that she can change him for the better after the knot is tied. However, when women show their bad side, the men's focus lies in their physical attraction to the women, and the goal of sex makes them blind to any faults displayed by the woman. I believe that the best protection against discovering faults and lies is a long engagement.



Hey Teerob,

I'm all in favour of the prenup protection plan, but it really isn't practical as no one tells the truth before things get serious. The truth can hurt, and as the famous line from the movie goes, 'You can't handle the truth.' Mout mek fi talk, and people will say anything just to be accepted. It's best to just play along and try to see what's really behind the façade that's facing you.



Let's face it, the world is in a crisis of epic proportions that took us all by surprise, as no one saw it coming. Or did some people? Ancient prophesies and even some modern ones, plus the conspiracy theorists have been predicting this crosses that has descended on us. Some of these prophecies have been attributed to Nostradamus, French physician and reputed seer from the 14th century, to Bill Gates, computer pioneer who gave an eerily prophetic speech in 2015 about viral warfare.

Others are saying that it's the end times, Armageddon, and Judgement deh pon we. Whatever and whoever, the fact is, this coronavirus (COVID-19) plague has transformed the entire world in a matter of a few weeks. The origin, it is said, was from people eating bats — rat bat as we call them — that were infested with the virus. People have been eating bats for centuries, so why now? But that's just my enquiring mind.

Viruses are smart, resilient, and mutate as they jump from bat to human, and then human to human. As the saying goes, it's gone viral. It ran through China — where it originated — like a whirlwind from hell, and in a short time thousands were infected with many dying. That was just the beginning, as air and sea travel swept it through the world, surpassing the plagues of biblical times for its speed and ferocity.

Italy has overtaken China in infections and deaths, and the USA is also in the grips of a torrent of infections and death. Almost everything is grinding to a halt — cinemas, plays, restaurants, transport, churches, sports, which is taking a massive beating. Almost everything has been cancelled. The once mighty New York City is a virtual ghost town as corona sweeps through. The city that never sleeps has gone to bed.

Here in Jamaica we are feeling it too, as they even closed down bars. I'm not a drinker who frequents bars, but they could have cut some slack here, as for thousands of people, bars are a source of refuge, a sanctuary. They could leave the bars open but limit the number of patrons.

Gambling hasn't stopped though, as corona or not, racehorse haffi run and lotto draw haffi take place. They corralled the horses eventually though, and racing ceased. One other curtailment is that of the sex industry, as sex workers are complaining of a decline in business. Although not officially mandated, love, romance, intimacy, sex have all taken a beating because of this plague. No love in the time of corona?

Men are reluctant to solicit prostitutes, for fear of being infected, but give it time, after a while the ladies of the night will be saying, “Here's a condom and a face mask, now saddle up.” The 'other woman' or mistress will also have a difficult time, as her married man boyfriend cannot spend as much time with her as before. No longer can he tell his wife, “Honey, I'll be out working late tonight, see you later.” That also goes for 'weekend assignments' on the north coast, corona mash that up.

Work has been curtailed, so he'll have to self-quarantine in his house and spend time with his wife and children.

“Mommy, how come daddy home all the time now?”

“Corona clip his wings, my dear.”

This applies to women too, for those who were inclined to carry on with other men and stray are now reluctant to do so as this virus really put the fear of God in them. No longer is there a fear of STDs or HIV/Aids as there is a treatment for those, but corona is new. Joe Grine may be put out of business. But mark my words, if this thing lasts long enough, after a while people will get used to it and it'll be business as usual.

People will walk with their masks, won't kiss and have sex doggie style only, with no face-to-face contact made. “Man, I made love to five women last month and don't even know what they look like.”

I told you that it was about love in the time of corona. It will now be challenging for people to forge new relationships as no one will get intimate until after 14 days of quarantine.

“We can't have sex until after you've been tested.”

“But I'm HIV-negative.”

“I meant coronavirus-tested.”

Hand-washing has now become the order of the day, and people are washing so much that their hands look like they're bleaching. Just a historical sidebar: washing of hands wasn't always done, even by doctors, up to the 19th century. They would go from dissecting corpses to delivering babies without washing their hands. There was little knowledge of germs, bacteria or viruses in those days.

Happily that's changed, as studies have proven how important washing of hands is when it comes to curtailing the spread of germs. But Jamaican men have always supported this, hence the fist bump greeting from many years ago.

But back to love in the time of corona, as the whole dynamic has changed. There is no dating as we knew it anymore, no more movies, dinner, dancing and intimate romance. Now it's meeting online and then going straight to bed. Either that or having virtual sex. Not even church can you congregate, as that is a no-no.

Online sex will increase and men who like to watch porn will feel justified in their behaviour. “Let me watch my porno, at least I won't catch any coronavirus.” Lovers who live overseas can't come home to hook up anymore. “Stay whey yu deh, I will e-mail or WhatsApp yu.” Long distance relationships are taking a beating as nuff dolly house mash up because of corona.

Sadly, some wives will have yet another excuse not to have sex. “Not now, they say that we must practise social distancing.” Some husbands will have new sexual interest in their wives, as they can't hook up with their mistress.

Love in the time of corona can be most challenging, but Jamaicans are inventive and innovative and will find a way.

More time.


Footnote: The economic beating that is resulting from this deadly virus is devastating for the entire world. Businesses, big and small, are suffering and closing down. Will this be another great depression as we teeter on the brink of the dark ages, or will we be resilient and find ways to survive? Only time will tell. People are staying home more, families drawn closer together. But on the dark side, job losses are devastating. Ironically, even in these dread times there are those who seize the opportunity and profit from it. We have to pray that it passes as quickly as it arrived and life will revert to normal.

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