If you're like me, you wake up every morning having to convince yourself all over again that this new state of affairs is not a bad dream. No hugging? Stay at home?! A wha really a gwan? It does not feel real. So now more than ever, I feel grateful that I live in Jamaica, home to some of the most creative people on the planet. (It's not just me, UNESCO also says so.) Science and medicine of course are critical at the moment, but art and creativity will also prove essential in getting us through these times. Music of course is one of the areas in which Jamaicans shine.
Jamaica has over the years gifted the world with Reggae music (you're welcome) and nothing is better at spurring creativity than adversity. Of course, the COVID situation in Jamaica is scary, as it is all over the world, but we have so much to be thankful for, so far (we expect the situation to peak in another 6 - 8 weeks). To date, we've officially recorded only two deaths. We mourn the two but we're grateful that, so far, it hasn't been more. The government reassuringly keeps us apprised of the situation daily and several measures (school closures, nightly curfews, closed airports, and more) have been implemented to "flatten the curve". Jamaicans are, for the most part, adhering to the guidelines, although of course we do have our fair share of "covidiots". And of course we continue to create and be the artistic beings that the world loves. There have been songs, jokes, memes, videos that have been shared and streamed across the internet which show that resilience is indeed in our DNA.
A YouTube search will show evidence of that musical resilience in the form of Dancehall and Reggae songs. Reggaeville has compiled a playlist titled "Corona Infects Reggae Music", a grouping of songs that have been inspired by COVID-19. It's worth checking out. Not all are Jamaican and the quality ranges from so-so to very good. Three of the more interesting ones are posted below; they were chosen because I found them to have helpful instructions, a generally positive message, and catchy.
It is not a secret that music has the ability to inspire and stir a whole range of other emotions. Rebellion, community spirit, fun, and of course love are themes which are easy to find. Here's hoping these songs will put a smile on your face and inspire you through these current and transient difficulties.
Stay safe and bless up.