First off, let me state that this post is not a plea for sympathy–we’re all in this together, and I’m very thankful to have remained employed, unlike so many others. This is just me documenting my thoughts and feelings during a time of great historical significance.
I feel that a cultural paradigm shift on par with 9/11 is upon us. I don’t know what that’s going to entail, and neither does anyone else. That’s scary.
When the story first broke, I, along with a great many others, figured that the danger, though real, was largely sensationalized by the press. After all, it’s happened numerous times in the past. I assumed this was one of “those.”
Many people still do, and they refuse to take even the most rudimentary precautions against it. It’s that “Not in America” mentality at work. “That can’t happen! Not in America!”
I mean, this is serious. I’m hoping people being forced to distance will be effective, but what I’ve seen hasn’t been encouraging.
I see a lot of denial and flippancy. I see ignorance. I see people who are so terrified that they’re rattling off all of this “just the flu” nonsense to lull themselves into a false sense of security.
I have to work in public. I have to be around people. I’m not complaining, because I’m very thankful for that job security right now. After living with OCD for 40 years, though, I got this. I’ve been preparing for it my entire life. I am sanitizing everything everyone touches, every time they touch it, and if it’s not sanitizable, I only touch it with a gloved hand, toss the glove, and then wash my hands. My hands are cracked and bleeding from excessive washing.
Problem is, no one else seems to give a shit, and they laugh at what they perceive as paranoia on my part. To them, the worst part of all of this is the inconvenience.
Someone who “Doesn’t really care about all this stuff” asked me yesterday how long I thought it would last. I said, “How long do you want to make it last?”
Look, I’m not crazy about letting the government put us all under some kind of soft martial law, but what else can be done? People are acting like fools.
Worse than the complacent are these tinfoil hat nutjobs with their weed-fueled camo shorts conspiracy theories about how our government unleashed this in order to thin out and control the population. Look, I don’t trust the government either, but quit thinking you’re privy to some kind of top secret mass cover-up because of your favorite YouTube alarmist’s derp state panic vids. If there’s a cover-up, it’s from China’s end.
It sucks. I hate the fact that small businesses will be forced to close their doors forever, their owners absorbed into the corporate machine. America’s spirit of individualism will be diminished even further than it already has been. The biggest companies in the world will have us exactly where they want us.
I’m terrified of military intervention. I’m terrified of catching the virus and passing it on to my immune-suppressed wife. I’m terrified of my dad dying from it. As of this morning, he’s in the hospital with severe symptoms, awaiting the results from a COVID-19 test. I’m 85% sure it’ll be positive.
My mom has no symptoms after a week of my dad being sick, and I’m thankful for that. She’s holed up in their house alone right now.
This is weird. I’ve heard it compared to the Twilight Zone, but I disagree. It’s more like an especially bleak and depressing episode of Black Mirror that won’t end.
Stay tuned for more musings on this topic, because it’s all I’m thinking about. In the meantime, enjoy this extreme metal Pandemic Playlist I’ve compiled, if you’re so inclined.
Better yet, go and read The Machine Stops, a 1909 story about people living isolated lives underground and communicating only via social media. That’s right, 1909. Czech it out.