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  • Stephen L Carter, Sr.

COVID SERIES (PART VII): Caution - COVID-19 Still Ahead

No Time To Relax or Let Your Guard Down

by Stephen L. Carter, Sr.

Alright, my readers, Raise your hand if you thought you could now resume in January 2022 a Pre-Covid inside/outside set of activities? Nooo, not me! I thought I would return to a guarded set of former activities cautiously. Like a New Year’s EVE PARTY – a private setting, a limited guest list of people who masked, vaccinated, and respected the risk of taking on the Devil COVID-19.

Ya know how I emphatically knew I wasn’t there yet? When I relinquished tickets to the very coveted, much lusted after Bulls vs. Lakers game a few days before Xmas. Ya know how my hesitancy, my apprehensions were further confirmed? When I felt compelled to rescind my RSVP response to my invitation to attend my Godson’s Annual Family Holiday Event- the quasi-private showing of the Holiday Classic film, It’s a Wonderful World at the Biograph Theater. It’s been an event that I anticipated attending beginning December 26, 2020. Then along came Delta and Omicron to strong-arm their way into my awareness mix.

If I may, I would humbly suggest that six phrases should now enter a proud space in your Covid lexicon–much more effective than the magic “Open Sesame”–to open safe doors of caution:

I am ever vigilant!

Trust your gut or spirit to recognize what lying eyes refuse to see or acknowledge–Covid’s fatal denouement. (See #3 below for the shortlist.)

Close a deaf ear to former President El Pinocchio and his Band of Earth-is-Flat Dwarfs – including McConnell, McCarthy, Rubio, DeSantis, Greene (MTG), and Chicago’s loco** dwarf FOP President Catanzara (**not a typo)

Ask yourself, “What would my buddy and hero, Tony Fauci say?” (Yea, admittedly, he’s my hero for Truth, Justice, and the American way.)

Review NYT, Washington Post often. Read and trust Sun-Times Columnist, Laura Washington. Avoid like the Plague any facet of Fox So-Called-News.

Neither be gas-lighted by the Noble Lie or Pious Fiction of ignoble leaders, academics or religious–cult or traditional.

Am I imagining things, or have I become inured to scenes and reports of hospitals being overwhelmed by new COVID-19 outbreaks that suddenly turn hospital waiting rooms into triage treatment centers. Until quite recently, I thought we could soon be comfortable in returning to normal, but now sensing we may never be normal; and that what had previously been considered as abnormal is now “The New Normal”:

- Masked men entering banks and gas stations no longer seen as bandits;

- 15,000 watchers in Times Square instead of 60,000 when the ball dropped on NYE

- Cruise ships are seen as one of the most dangerous forms of leisure travel

- ‘Huggin’-n-a kissin’ now a game of COVID-19 roulette rather than the American pastimes of families – and lessening of America’s past.

- Classrooms and classmates, schoolmates in real-life attendance – iffy at best; more likely future comments like, “She/he was in my ZOOM class from K-8th.”

- No longer hearing comments like, “We packed the house for Gladys or Franky or Smokey, the Symphony Center for Ramsey, the United Center for Earth, Wind and FiiiiER OR the Bulls playing Lebron Jr.

Who could have imagined or predicted one year ago that headlines would announce on January 4, 2022, that there were only three beds available for a Chicagoland suburban community of 800,000? Or, concomitantly, there would be a large number of political “tribes' ' still questioning the efficacy of vaccinations. And, groups that somehow believe the “events” of January 6, 2021, were merely some unruly tourists in rapture having the opportunity to walk the halls of Congress on their serendipitous guided tour of “their' ' nation's Capitol?

No clear end in sight for any of the current COVID-19 threats. I wonder if survivors left from the 1919 Great Flu that would say, amid their worldwide pandemic – that they saw an end in sight.

With these events and experiences, I would not leave these pages without sharing what noted, knowledgeable, credible American journalists have addressed. Can “COVID-19 risk assessment calculators become a way (electronic calculations) for people to go about their normal lives while staying safe?” These possible pioneers ask questions, suggest we ask relevant questions, and then “Run the numbers!” Like:

-Is the event indoors or outdoors? A high-risk event at a high-risk venue? Run the numbers!

- Destination wedding. Research the numbers on that country’s Covid cases, vaccination rates, deaths, and medical treatment availability! Run the numbers!

- Size of family gatherings and how many are likely NOT vaccinated? Run the numbers!

This number’s game calculates the risk in anticipation of short–term and long–term gain. Though not a gamer myself, I would bet I don’t need a phone or computer application to run the numbers in my head or let my spirit talk to me and guide me. If my readers ran the numbers, I would wager they would be effective risk/benefit takers not based on Lady Luck. And as any Vegas devotee will tell you, Luck is not always a Lady.

Dear Readers, I recently read that to be recognized as an impactful writer, I have to have written 1,000,000 words. Given my initial byline as a Sophomore at St. Joseph’s, with stops at Citizen, the Chicago Defender, N’Digo, and now committed to CURRENT MAGAZINES, I currently have 798,147 more words to go to considered a WRITER. I pray my Publisher has the patience to allow me to reach my 1 Million. I’ll keep you updated.

My readers, you be the beautiful answer.

(Feel entitled to comment or exercise vents or praise privileges by snail mail at BlackButterfly, Current Magazines, Kirkwood Business Center, 1940 E.79th St, Chicago, Illinois, 60649 or email at:

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