Jabless in Central America

I would like to know where my bloody vaccine is. I check my email every day and still no invitation from the government. Am I not vulnerable enough? Does my demographic not exist in sufficiently large numbers for my life to be worth saving? I expect that might be it. Fair enough.

I am vulnerable, though, slumped under a palm tree on an isolated stretch of beach on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica 13,000km from my natural home, Durban. My adopted home, Cape Town, is slightly closer, but this doesn’t make me feel any less vulnerable. 

Anything could happen to me right now. My next beer could flow into my lungs causing me to drown. Someone might try to talk to me and discover that I am perilously close to being unable to communicate in any language whatsoever. A coconut could plummet into my lap, destroying any lingering hopes of contributing another drain on the planet’s resources. 

One child isn’t enough. We all need to have as many children as quickly as possible. Stop what you’re doing and mount your partner at once. Studies have shown that one in a hundred million babies will go on to do something that revolutionises the way we live our lives. Your child could be the next Tim Berners-Lee. Or even the next messiah. However, if your child does show signs of inventing a new religion capable of brainwashing millions, or developing a technology that obviates the need for human interaction, a mercy killing might be advisable.

At the risk of contradicting myself, being vulnerable should not be a criterion for getting hustled to the front of the queue for your slice of the vaccine pie. I’m not talking about being vulnerable in the sense of exposing yourself to the virus so that others might live. Medical staff is exempted from this poorly thought-out idea. In my defence, and there’s nobody else around to defend me apart from a massive iguana that might even be a small crocodile, it’s only poorly thought out because it’s a thousand degrees wherever you are in this country.

My eyes are bubbling in my skull like two poached eggs and my brain feels like a chunk of oxtail that’s been left in the slow cooker for six months. There’s a reason Costa Rica has produced only one Nobel Prize winner, and that was for peace. Will you all just please stop fighting? It’s too damn hot. Let’s abolish the army, declare the country a national park and print a billion beach towels with sloths on them.

When it comes to vaccines, vulnerability shouldn’t be defined according to age. The young, for instance, don’t deserve vaccines for the simple reason that they don’t pay tax. Then again, this is not entirely their fault. I blame our namby-pamby labour laws. I was ready to start work the moment I realised high school wasn’t for me. That was on the first day of Grade 8. However, the National Party had other plans for me. They insisted I finish school and get conscripted. Fight communism. They didn’t really have a plan beyond that. By the time the army spat me out, I wasn’t interested in getting a job. All I wanted to do was surf, smoke weed, drink beer and play drums in a punk band. This makes me sound more ambitious than I was.

Had there been a pandemic at the time, the government would have made sure I got the vaccine. Not because they knew Power Age couldn’t afford to lose their drummer, but because I was white. Still am. Mostly. PW Botha believed that all white people apart from Carl Niehaus were destined for great things. I disappointed him terribly. If you can hear me down there, PW, I apologise.

Children, especially those who belong to other people, shouldn’t be first in line for the vaccine. The way they behave in restaurants is enough to disbar them. The young put the most filthy things into their mouths, and this is even before they become sexually active, and yet they not only survive but thrive. Vulnerable my arse. They’ll be just fine.

In a similar vein, haha, the vaccine should not necessarily be handed out willy nilly to the elderly either. Just because you’re old doesn’t mean you’re special. Some of the worst people in history were allowed to get old. PW was 90. Stalin was 74. Idi Amin made it all the way to 78.

I suppose Mussolini made up for it by dying at 61. None of this natural causes bollocks for him, though. Why don’t you just shoot me and hang me upside down and let people throw rocks at me? he shouted. Communists, being the literalists they are, happily obliged.

Politicians, needless to say, should be last in line for the vaccine.

Hold on. A feral Tico with a bag of coconuts slung over his shoulder and a razor-sharp machete in his gnarled paw has just sloped out of the jungle. I read reports about him. Gringos advise caution. They say he threatened them. Americans, to be fair, are easily threatened. Often with good cause. I gave him a beer and we bumped fists. That’s all you have to do. Treat the poor and the mad well and there’s a good chance they won’t try to cut your head off.

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