Carnival, Covid, And Kindness By Trini Jungle Juice's Carnival Doctor, Dr. Rhadi Ferguson

Carnival, Covid, And Kindness By Trini Jungle Juice's Carnival Doctor, Dr. Rhadi Ferguson

After Miami Carnival, we had so many conversations and comments on our Facebook page about the pandemic, masks, precautions, and safety during Miami Carnival. 

Some people scoffed at those who attended, others applauded those who attended, and some just clicked the like button and agreed with the sentiments they were in harmony with. 

The Covid 19 pandemic is tricky to handle socially, rhetorically, and logically because of its impact personally and politically.  

On a personal level, I had covid earlier this year. 

It was horrible.  

My oxygen levels went down to 88. I felt like I couldn't breathe and that I couldn't access that last little bit of air that you need to make you feel like you took a complete breath. Because my oxygen was compromised, my heart rate was between 110 and 90 bpm. Usually, I'm in the 55 to 65 range, so to me, it felt like my heart was racing out of control. And because my body was stressed and my heart was working harder, my blood pressure was also high. It was 180/110. I was scared. I was on the precipice of a stroke, I had a fever of 102, I couldn't breathe well, and I saw things getting worse by the hour.  

My friend from college, Dr. Sean Boynes, a Trinidadian-born Pharmacist and 2-sport Howard University athlete and graduate, died from Covid on my birthday, April 3rd.  I sat in my living room, in my dress shoes, suit, tie, along with my Howard University cuff links on, and attended my friend's funeral…. Online via Facebook live.  Even writing this now bothers me a bit, but it's necessary to share. 

I'm sharing this because everybody in those pictures and videos at carnival has a story.  

Some people are cancer survivors. 

Some people have gone through a nasty divorce. 

Some people just lost their jobs. 

Some had a domestic abuse incident just the week before.

Some people are going through a midlife crisis. 

Some people have family members who are on life support.  

Some are single parents who just sent their last child off to university.  

Some people have mental health issues for which carnival is utilized as an emotional salve.   

My point is this

Be nice. Be kind.  And let's not be judgmental. 

As a Ph.D., I'm well versed in statistics, as most of us are, because they drill it into you during your studies. I'm also familiar with the R-naught values of the original covid strains and their variants. And as a Florida resident who lives in a state that hosted Wrestlemania, the Super Bowl and most of the NCAA Bowl games and part of the Stanley Cup, I can see the logic in hosting and having events, and I can also see the logic in not having events and respect both arguments. 

With that being said… if you look at some of the research on Google Scholar, not Google, Google Scholar, you will see that one of the significant issues that create and produces poor outcomes is when obesity is coupled with covid. 

Now let's get something clear….. I AM OBESE.

I am 5 feet 8 inches tall and I weigh 247 lbs.  (in Trinidad, I'm 227 and in Miami, I'm usually 237, but this year I weighed in at 242 before Miami).

I'm telling you all of this because….

We have a job here as a media outlet to report on what's going on, show you the climate of the carnival situation, and inspire you.  And YES, we have had knock-down / drag-out meetings about media selection, picture selection, and what to post and why. And at the end of the day, we report, inspire, and provide things for people to aspire to. That's why we have a diverse range of pictures but skew towards those who present as physically fit and in shape.   

We post some photos and videos to inspire those who have not been to a carnival to come as you are. We post some for those who already go to carnival to try new fetes, new bands, and new activities while also looking to achieve new wellness goals. And we post some media, as all media outlets do, for the sheer sake of entertainment.  (and at the end of the day, every discussion is based upon brand harmony, brand image, traffic, clicks, likes, and shares….. those are just the facts).

And these are conversations that we have and had because we are concerned about you, the carnival movement, and those who enjoy the carnival and make a living off of it. And there is no carnival without you. And the more exercise, healthier intake, and emotional wellness you provide yourself, the better the whole movement will be 

And as it pertains to commenting on social media, remember to be kinder than you were the day before and more inspirational than you were the day before that.  

With that being said…. We support all persons who attend carnival. We also support those who choose not to.  We support the vaxxers. And we support the anti-vaxxers. We support the maskers and the anti-maskers.  


Because WE ARE CARNIVAL and we support and love EVERYBODY.