Kalamu ya Salaam's information blog

These be dangerous times–not just “hard”–these are actually dangerous times; times when some of us, many of us, might not survive, and even if we survive, we will be forever changed, never again the same.

As counter-intuitive as it may sound, this is also a time of growth. But not growth in terms of size but rather growth in terms of maturity. Growth when we realize that we have got to become better. All of us. Even the least of us. And especially the wealthy of us.

The wage and wealth gap in the USA has widened rather than contracted. In both physical welfare and net worth terms we are far more than six feet apart. We live in separate worlds; indeed, in the real world, some of us struggle to merely survive, while far fewer of us continue to prosper.

Check it: we are social animals who require exchange with others to fully be ourselves. Yet in this virus time we are mandated/made to stand and stay apart. Here are the recent updated statistics.

So what do we do?

What we can’t keep on doing is what we recently have been cavalierly doing. Hard as it be, if we want to live free we must put restrictions on ourselves. The main restriction is we have got to clean up and realize that we must stop relying on others to serve us, to cook our food, to clean up our waste, to make our asses comfortable. We have got to re-learn and value the beauty of doing for self.

I live in New Orleans, a legendary but not overly large metropolitan area, yet, at the beginning of this silent-spring in our virus-dominated-time, the Crescent City ranks high in the nation in terms of this virulent virus affecting literally thousands of citizens.

At first I was mystified: why were we ranked so high? But in thinking through what is going on, an event screams out as a major contact point. Our situation was screamingly obvious: we were a focal crossroads of all kinds of foot traffic and social interchange.

My younger brother is a physician, an expert cardiologist. When we talked about the current situation, what became clear is on February 25, 2020 our city was the center of a major international gathering: Mardi Gras. Hence our city was a petri-dish for the transmission of this virulent disease.

There will be no comparable Mardi Gras crowds of millions in 2021. We all know trying times demand better, even if we didn’t all do better in 2020. Last year was the last mad bacchanal of thousands in the streets shouting “throw me something, mister”. I don’t think any of us want to catch the Covid-19 virus.




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  1. Marjorie Johnson #
    March 22, 2020

    As I set out on Mardi Grad day to plant myself on Orleans Ave for Zulu, cheering the kids in bands, begging for coconuts, laughing with nieghbors, I had not heard of a virus ravaging China. I certainly would have kept my compromised immune system at home if I had. And that is where I have been since. Gastric symptoms – no pulmonary problems, no temperature, but still distressing.
    I’m counting myself among the unsuspecting fortunate.

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