By: Mary Khon

¡Feliz Mes del Orgullo, Queeridos!
We almost seem to be done with the pandemic or rather to have a better control of the COVID-19 virus, which completely sent our lives into a topsy-turvy for more than a year. Today, we seem to be at the end of it all, which it’s also a time to be far more careful than before.

As cities, counties, states, and nations start to ‘easy up’ their COVID-19 rules with the hopes to reopen businesses and go back to the new normal, COVID-19 cases are now flourishing in places where there were hardly any cases before. India, for example is going through a devastation and Thailand, a country that hardly had any COVID-19 cases at the start of last year, it is now experiencing the virus the way we started to experience it back in May-June 2020. Small towns and remote Mexican regions that had seen no virus cases at all, are now being affected by the virus due to people traveling to those regions.

And this has been the major problem with people, not with the virus, but with people. Here in the United States, there are thousands of people who refused to wear a mask, and thousands more who refused to be vaccinated. So, while many of us try to follow the rules, not because we are sheep, but because we understand what helps to have control of the pandemic, many others are doing the opposite. It is this dichotomy that doesn’t allow us to be completely free of something that, in the 21st century could have been easily controled.

Take for example our Pride Month. In this country alone, PRIDE celebrations will take place live in many places. And while these places have set COVID-19 PROTOCOLS, do you really, in all honesty, believe people will follow such protocols? No. It won’t happen. It may happen at the beginning of the celebration, but once things get heated, the protocols will be ignored, and people will simply behave irresponsibly.

Tampa Bay, Key West, Dallas, Provincetown, Middletown, for example, will be having live PRIDE festivals, at least that is what has been announced as of the writing of this article. Surprisingly enough, Long Beach will also have a live PRIDE festival, but will only allowed people who have been vaccinated—because those vaccine cards cannot be duplicated, right?

Puerto Vallarta will also have a live PRIDE festival, but this is not a festival sponsored by the city but rather a festival put together by producers from the United States. Because nothing screams more privilege and more entitlement than going to another country, take advantage of the country’s generosity or stupidity, and organized massive events where the virus can be spread to the locals.

Maybe by June the virus will be completely irradicated and this article will simply be proof of someone who worries too much about life, and as I have been told, “is too scared to live life to the fullest”.

“YOLO!” They tell me when I bring out the fact that partying with a bunch of unknown people is not yet a good idea. “You only live once so you should go out and celebrate. You are not getting any younger and well, life is short, so live it.” I simply nod my head and say, “I agree.” But I rather celebrate my jotería at home, staying safe, and not contributing to the propagation of the virus.

I know our country has been hit with economic hardship for a year now. I know many businesses have closed their doors for good due to the pandemic. I know many people need jobs in order to continue surviving, but the more we refuse to stay home and take care of ourselves, the longer this pandemic is going to last.

Yes, we seem to be at the end of it, but there are still chances things can get out of control. Today we have more vaccinated people than a month ago, and that is very good. But not everyone is vaccinated and not everyone is following protocols.

Those people who scream if we’re tired of wearing a face covering/mask are the same people that keep us wearing those coverings/masks. Because they continue to infect others with the virus we could have controlled long ago.

I certainly hope that by the time this article comes out on print, it becomes a useless piece of information because the virus has finally been controlled and the pandemic has finally been declared over. I will be the first one to admit and celebrate such milestone. But I am a realist, borderline pessimist, and I don’t see that happening. But, once again, I hope I prove myself wrong on this one.

The moral of the story is, queeridos, that this month is our PRIDE MONTH, and we need to celebrate our queer and joto lives. But it is better to do it in a safely manner than throwing common sense out the window and then find ourselves in a predicament once again. Celebrate, but be wise about it, queeridos. If is true that we only live once, why risk the chance of ending such live sooner than necessary?

Be out and be proud, pero no seas un idiota!