So, it’s COVID “season” and what has now become seasoned and percolating is this term “fully dunce” that has been going around in the Jamaican space. So, let’s unpack this a likkle bit and see what we come up with when the suitcase of this terminology is finally empty.

Who is the “fully dunce” and why are they deemed to be so? I think I first heard the term when the young fella fram dung suh went live on social media saying him “naah guh eenn” and the PM can duh some not so nice tings to and with himself if he didn’t like it.

However, the term has persisted and has become its own version of viral, with all and sundry using it almost every day and for everything. Now it has seemingly transcended to all people who are not acting in a certain way in their response to this pandemic that is making people crazy. Those of us who can afford to stock up on groceries for extended periods of time, are quick to call those who can’t and have tuh look dem bread daily; “duncebats,” but how bright is it to not understand the plight of others, while you sit on your high hordes and judge them?

So, the word dunce in its dictionary meaning is a stupid person. My question is this, is that just reserved for those dung suh, and the ones up suh are exempt?

There was a discussion on one local talk show about the fact that Portmore, albeit having many professionals and UWI graduates — maybe the largest concentration of the latter in the Caribbean — saw many persons fleeing the parish after the announcement of the eminent lockdown. Now, are they, too, “fully dunce?” We are also hearing bout “ankle level IQs” duppy bats, rat for brains, etc, etc, but to what end?

In a resultant discussion I was having with a friend, this was my take on this new, people-seem-to-think “sophisticated” term that I guess is used to make themselves feel superior and brighter than others: What I have always known, even long before stepping into a single undergraduate Psychology class at UWI, is that fear/emotions and logic and or education are HUGELY different things, as are intelligence, sophistication and education; ALL different from fear. As such, everybaddy weh get fraid, often act outside of what they would do if they were operating from a place of logic. When we are afraid, we go into the mode of fight or fright, and things like having the relevant information, education or sophistication, go straight through the proverbial door.

It matters not where you live, what level of education you have, what you drive or own, what work you do, or how much sophistication you are deemed to have, you either fight OR flee when you are afraid, and some of us are even frozen in place, unable to do either. This is why educated women stay with abusive men and vice versa, and why educated people who are afraid and hurting take drugs that are bad for them, or are promiscuous, and sexually irresponsible and so do not use protection even in the face of the likelihood of contracting a sexually transmitted disease and even dying.

It may sound far-fetched to you and maybe you are scratching your not so fully dunce head saying, how in Gawd’s name these relate to the idiocy being perpetuated by the “fully dunce” in their response to COVID-19.

However, the point is this, when emotions are involved; fear, especially of the unknown, i.e. the uncertainty of leaving someone either because you are afraid of being alone, or of them hunting you down and ending your life, or “running from COVID” then logical thoughts and actions are often few and far between, unfortunately. So, as you sit there on your high IQs with your non-fully-dunce selves, it would behoove you to, at the very least, TRY to understand that even though people’s actions may appear stupid to you, that they ARE acting that way for a reason. Hey, it may NOT be a reason that makes sense to YOU, but it is STILL a reason nevertheless. When someone’s survival is at stake, telling them to stay in, PLUS calling them “duncebats” help who??

Let’s reason this out a likkle bit deh den iyah, wouldn’t it be just a tad better if we exercised a little more compassion since it matters not if we live above or below Cross Roads, have money, nuh have no money and can ongly buy two dutty gyal and a pound a rice every day tuh quiet those hunger pangs?

At the end of ANY day, we have ALL acted dunce at some point or the other in our own existence; suh whether FULLY or not, more than ONE set of people have had dunceniss locked, and truth be told MANY persons who are calling others “fully dunce” are now appearing “duncer” than them, what with their continuous use of this “fully dunce” thing. Yuh following? . 

As we ALL face this pandemic, with the fear that it brings, I hope that in ALL our “brightness,” that as we continue to stay safe and sane, that we make room in our heads and hearts for others around us, and send hope, compassion and understanding their way, and hope beyond hope that they WILL eventually get to the point where they will overcome their fears and act in a way that will keep all of us safe, With what a gwaan pan Jamrock, I HAVE to wonder, a who REALLY “fully dunce” dough eehh? Jamaica still one love?

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