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​Homework BC

MY FRIEND and colleague, Mark Lyndersay, who, like me, has worked largely from home for 30 years, used his BitDepth column this week to give good practical advice to people forced by the Corona virus crisis to work from home for the first time. (https://technewstt.com/bd1241/.)

Now, Mark (my photographic collaborator on Trini to the Bone, my Monday Newsday feature) is one of the few people writing in Trinidad — or, frankly, anywhere — whose work I can’t improve massively by cutting it drastically. Almost everything in our newspapers would be twice as good if half the words were simply deleted — but I haven’t yet found the word I can take out of Mark’s writing. And the advice he gave new homeworkers — such as designating a distinct work space at home — couldn’t be technically faulted.
But, still, “it ent go work”.
Trinidadians trying to work at home is like pot hounds entering Crufts: they could win, in theory, but, in practice, they will spend all their time trying to mount the champion bitch.
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​Trini Social-Distancing

A WOMAN in West Mall (before the lockdown) saw two women to whom she occasionally nodded in the church car park walking towards her. Ahead of the Trinidad governmental curve, justifiably nervous about the Corona virus, she crossed to walk in front of shop entrances on the other side. She nodded at the other women across the bench separating the hallways as they passed one another; but the women turned away, noses in the air. One of them turned to her companion, and, pointing with her mouth across the bench to the woman who’d shunned them, said, “She social, eh?”

Trini social-distancing.
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Unsocial Distancing

IF I WERE to start self-isolating against the spread of Covid-19, as requested by every firetrucking government in the world… How would anyone tell? I’ve been more or less completely self-isolating, without any official prompting, since July, 1988, the last time I actually went to an office every day. (Not counting seven or eight months in 1993 immediately after my father died, when I ran the shop in Guyana, like any good West Indian Potogee, and a few months temping as a typist in London in 1990, to try to make ends meet, though they determinedly remained strangers.)

Media organisations the world over have decided there is no other story than Corona, Corona but it is an interminable news cycle I would spin out of happily. Even admitting that the Corona virus really does seem to have caught on with everybody, everywhere, faster than the Macarena or Gangnam Style, it’s really not my cup of tea or petri dish.
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