Updated: Mar 18
With the widespread outbreak of the coronavirus strain COVID-19 I figured my first blog can be how this has affected the carnival community.
First let's understand what we're dealing with.
Coronavirus is a family of viruses that range from the common cold to MERS. The COVID-19 is a strain that causes respiratory illness and is easily spread from person to person via respiratory droplets. People most at risk are the elderly, children, and those already immunocompromised. The symptoms are fever, cough, sore throat, and in severe cases difficulty breathing. How can you protect yourself? Wash your hands frequently. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and immediately discard the tissue. Maintain social distancing. Which leads me to...
Why is this affecting carnival?? Carnival is a celebration that invites, literally, thousands of people from all over the world to congregate in one place. I don't know about you, but I stuff my body full of Vitamin C before I travel for carnival, and sometimes I STILL catch the sniffles! But, COVID-19 isn't just some common cold, this is a virus that kills if not caught and treated early enough. Incubation period for the virus is up to 14 days and symptoms don't always show. Meaning you could travel to carnival, catch it, fly back home to your family and friends spreading it, and not even know. Scary, right?! I know the next question is, well can't they just make a vaccine? And the answer is, yes. In fact, they are already testing one! But testing takes time. So as a responsible people, to stop the potential spread of the virus, carnival committees have decided to postpone carnival celebrations until the world has a finite solution to this problem.
Why postpone instead of cancel?? This is probably the biggest question from revelers! I'm going to do my best to answer from a business point of view. Mind you this is speculation and I am not speaking on behalf of anyone! But, financially it does not make sense to cancel. Hear me out & let me give you a little perspective. Your money does not only pay for your costume. You are paying for: Fees that the band has to pay to the carnival committee. Costs to build the music trucks, drinks trucks, and toilet trucks. The designer's design. Which is separate from the production of said design. The branded box/bag the costume comes in. Wristbands. Alcohol. Mason jars. Can you see where I'm going here lol?! Yes some things (listed and not listed) are sponsored for the band but not all. And what I listed is only some of what is handled before carnival even come! Or do I need to mention: Paying staff that runs mas camp, security on the road, bartenders, medical personnel, etc. Are you getting the full idea now of what you're paying for?? Now, if you notice it is clearly only upcoming carnivals that have postponed. This includes Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Bahamas, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and Cayman (Berlin has cancelled). Cayman wasn't until May 9th, so you can see how far this is reaching and we are still in March! The likely reason it is postponed is because a portion of the money you paid months ago has already been spent. Production on your costumes has already started, finished pieces are already en route to their designated country, loose materials to build backpacks are either on the way or waiting to be put together. And some are saying "But one year my backpack wasnt even ready the day I came to pick it up!!" Yes, but the materials were already there for them to make it, right?? It's no secret that a majority of the Caribbean relies on tourism to fuel the economy, so having a carnival is a major one time boost for the year. So for a committee to have to make a decision to postpone carnival is not an easy feat. I think it's for the best interest of the bands so that they do not lose the thousands they have spent on custom items. And it benefits the ppl because they still have a carnival to look forward to.
I just want my money back! It's not right! *insert flashback of those J.G. Wentworth commercials*
But it is right. Because when you entered your card information I'm quite sure there was something there that said "no refunds, all sales final". I know this because I've seen it. Now granted, if the event was cancelled then I'd probably be more inclined to agree a refund is warranted. However, the event is still happening. It may not be happening at a time convenient to you, but happening nonetheless. My advice if you cannot make it, cancel your flight (most airlines are waiving cancellation fees), cancel your hotel, and find a site to resell your costume. Here are a few resell options:
www.FineAhBan.com www.trinijunglejuice.com/classifieds www.instagram.com/reveler_resale (JA ONLY) Put A Bow On It! (Closing) We are in uncertain times right now. Schools are closing, travel bans are in effect, businesses are being forced to shutdown temporarily. I may not be that old, but I have never seen the world so shaken, not even when Zika or SARS was a thing. My suggestion, pick your battles. Clearly you can get back most, if not all, of the money you've invested by doing what I stated above. Do it and get on with your life. I'm sure you have more important things to focus on. What are your thoughts on COVID-19 in regards to carnival?? Share Below! Yours In Carnival, ~Angee
P.S. I am not affiliated with any of the links provided. Those are just suggestions I've seen floating around. Dont come fuh me!