I have to tell you I consider one of my (rather few) talents is having a sense of where the future is headed.
So how did I miss the way this pandemic would engulf the world?
I’ll tell you. Give you a good laugh it will.
I figured we lived in a world where the germ theory of disease was well known. So all you had to do was understand how a given disease was transmitted, start the necessary public health measures, use the wealth of modern societies to pay for testing and tracing and treatment and provide the income support to avoid as much of the economic fallout as possible. And Bob’s your uncle.
After a few months of effort, it would all be over. We know how to do this, I thought.
Instead it turns out that we never really climbed out of the Dark Ages and we’re still living at the whim of so-called strongmen.
They’re not really strong, you know. They surround themselves with guards so they don’t have to stand much of anything. They don’t know how to persevere or take on burdens or never give up. Their only talent is not caring. They don’t care a used tissue’s worth about anyone else. About you or yours or your friends or your neighbors. To some people for some reason that looks like strength.
So now we’re dying by the hundreds of thousands. Once we’re done dying of this particular disease, the hundreds of millions of unemployed and bankrupt and ruined will continue dying with other causes listed on the death certificates.
There’s no point at all asking for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee. Maybe yesterday already. Maybe now. Maybe again. Maybe tomorrow. Any minute, anybody.
Same as everyone else, I’m like the Frenchman who, when the doctor started speaking of dying, said, “But I always thought an exception would be made for me!”
There’s no other way to live life except to ignore that it’s a terminal condition.
Until you can’t and some tinpot dictator rubs your face in the fact that they can rip up your life in a heartbeat. Then you tiptoe through the days knowing everything can shatter, and that you’ll have to walk on the fragments till they’re ground into dust and blow away.