I found this Jack Chick Tract on my way to work the other night and the title keeps bouncing around in my brain; "Things to Come?"
Who even knows anymore.
The levels of uncertainty surrounding our current pandemic situation are so high we may as well be in the End Times. And who knows, maybe this is the first step towards just that. A grand reboot of our world. Nature has already taken notice; there have been reports going around of animals reclaiming and returning to places where they were once chased off by so-called civilization. Maybe we should remain an underground dwelling society of quarantined half-people, only emerging from our dwellings for food and toilet paper.
A few days ago I had to take a trip into Manhattan to get a few things. What an eerie experience. I had joked around to wanting to do something like this earlier last month, but when I actually had a chance to experience it for myself it was just too heartbreaking. NYC is a ghost town. Giant ads and billboards are still flashing about, but there's no one there to see them. Weird.
That day when I was in Manhattan I decided to walk from Penn Station to my destination instead of taking the subway. I thought maybe the trains would be running on a weird schedule, and I'm not sure how clean they might be right now when we're all trying to be so sanitized during this germaphobic time.
My walk downtown was fairly brisk. There was very little traffic, and I counted seeing maybe less than 100 people while I was out. All my favorite locations were closed though; Forbidden Planet, Strands Bookstore, and other shops were closed down with letters on their doors expressing sadness but hope that they'll be up and running in no time. Seeing this really got me thinking about how different things will be after, and if, we survive this pandemic.
What I mean is, the world is already so much different from when I was a kid. After 9/11, there was an explicit shift in the world. The internet changed, how news was presented to us as a medium changed, and the thin line between governance and authoritarianism definitely became more defined and noticeable. Even our civil liberties and way of life have been poisoned by a world of capitalism without any restraints (but the beginnings of that happened a few years before 9/11 so...).
I just wonder how new horrors our nihilistic culture will breed. We already depend so much on the wealthy elite for the crumbs of survival, and now so many people are expecting them to bail us out. It's depressing and all too predictable of consumer culture.
So far, food isn't scarce yet, and we can all still go out and get the essentials needed to survive. I've been using my Y2K Survival Book for simple planning and ideas on what to buy. My kitchen has never been as full of stuff like how it is currently. I'm actually kind of mystified by all the supplies I was able to get by not losing my mind and buying only exactly what I need. The last thing I want to do is inhibit the survival or even the creature comforts of someone else.
This whole thing could have gone so much better, and maybe thousands could have been saved if our so-called leaders weren't godless idiots. But that's what happens when idiots are voted into office; you get idiotic situations like we're in right now. I don't feel that there's a government on earth that took this situation seriously at all, and that is of course predictable. I don't even understand why people bother to pretend that any government official has our best interests at heart; they want us all dead. Well, maybe not all of us, just enough of us that maybe certain resources can be recuperated, and anyone who survives can continue paying taxes.
I remember hearing about this virus when I was in the Philippines back in January I think, so there was plenty of time to plan and prep for it. While I was in the middle of volunteering during all that volcano nonsense I had to go through, I remember there were people talking about how scary it could get, and when I left that country I let out a sigh of relief because I was leaving an active volcano and a killer virus!
What's funny to me is how some people are joking that this "simulation" is out of whack and they'd like to return to the real world. This current situation IS the real world; a daily battle for survival. What we had before was a protective bubble where we could live a safe life of work, play, and consumption.
Everyone is trying their best to stay positive during this time by treating it like how things were before, but maybe a lot more people should realize that this is how things are around the world, even when there's no pandemic going on; resources are low, politicians lie, people stab each other in the back, and every day you just wonder if you're going to make it through it all to live another day.
Life is a lot more cruel than maybe you've ever considered because maybe all you do is live a patterned life and you've just never noticed how rotten it can all be.
It would be wonderful if we could just quarantine the whole world for a while and just let this virus rot away, but I don't know if that would help. There's no land in sight, so to speak. I feel like this journey is just starting and we may still have a long way to go. It's scary actually, and maybe we should be treating this pandemic experience with more reverence.
At this point, just try and make peace with it all. Seriously. Just take a moment to breathe it all in, take what precautions you can, be careful, and don't be afraid to tell your friends and family how much you love and care for them.With idiots at the helm guiding this ship towards an iceberg that I hope we never hit, that's really all we can do. If you can, stay indoors. If you're an essential worker (like I am) don't take any stupid chances.
Everything might get better, but live everyday like they won't.