I have been feeling for a while that I should write down my experience of everything happening, but I haven’t really known where to start. I guess I could just start with various feelings and thoughts that I have had, and work my way from there. I plan for this to be an ongoing project, because I feel that it is important to chronicle the events and feelings we feel as we experience a world-changing, life-altering event to such a scale as a worldwide Pandemic of catastrophic consequences such as this Coronavirus Outbreak.
This could turn into something, it could turn into absolutely nothing, but I still feel that it is important to journal this experience regardless.
So… here goes nothing, I guess.
There is the feeling of an oppression that our modern world hasn’t really felt before. Maybe it’s the gravity of the situation, maybe it’s the feeling that we are in the middle of writing history. Maybe it’s the feeling that our grandparents and parents before them felt when they realized that the world around them was changing forever. It’s the feeling of fear, uncertainty, a swirl of too many emotions within our minds that threatens to push us over the edge.
It’s the feeling of being stuck in our own minds for far too long. Suddenly, we have to learn how to live with ourselves in a way that we never have before, because previously, there were so many other distractions around us to preoccupy our time. Suddenly, the rush of events comes crashing down. Breaking news bombards us every few hours with new updates, new experiments, new developments of counties, states and even entire countries shutting down to the outside world.
A planet once defined by the idea of globalization and outsourcing, with international flights taking place at any hour of the day, now reduced to the separation of borders that the world hardly remembers any more.
Tensions, stress and anxiety all run high enough to reach heart attack levels even within healthy, young adults. Family relationships are strained, friendships are separated across the span of only a few miles. The government fights to keep the citizens calm, while “essential” employees make the dangerous trek to a job that would otherwise be just another harmless stop on the journey of a person’s everyday life.
The situation is such that the authentic self unwittingly makes its way out of a person without permission. It is a moment of truth within our society and within ourselves. We see what a person turns into when stress and fear overtake the mind. We see the strength or weakness of relationship bonds. We experience what a person is made of. Will they run and hide and stay clear of even the cyber-community? Will they tap into an inner strength they never had, trying to be a beacon of light within a terrible situation? Will they rise up to help in any way they can, or will they keep the mindset that it’s every person for themselves?
We face a global pandemic, the likes of which the world has never seen. We have seen pandemics and outbreaks throughout history, but never to this scale. It is the plot line of science fiction movies and novels. It’s the epitome of an apocalyptic theory. Is this just an effect of our overly globalized society, or are these events that can only be classified as Biblical?
There are terrible circumstances that face us. Families still live in poverty, parents are losing their livelihood and have no idea how they are going to feed their children in the coming weeks. Children whose only safe haven might have been their schools during the day, are now stuck within close quarters with their abusive parents. Health care systems are put to the test on a daily basis, as the numbers of cases and deaths rise as governments try their best to figure out the most effective course of action.
And yet, somehow, we also seem to be seeing some of the best of humanity that we have seen in a long time.
We are witnessing communities coming together, even from the safe distance of their own porches and front lawns. We are witnessing communities looking out for one another. Churches are having to be creative in the way that they connect with their people, and reach out and even help their communities. Friends are finding new ways to hang out. Companies are stepping up to help their customers in a way that would have been unfathomable this time last year.
We face a grim situation, where our loved ones are in danger. Even the loved ones that we have no knowledge of yet, for they have yet to enter our lives will have been affected by these events in some way. It is the type of circumstances that legends and tragedies are based off of. I imagine what these current events would have looked like to the great authors and historians of old.
“To quarantine, or not to quarantine? That is the question,” as would have been told by Shakespeare.
Would Tolkien have had Gandalf say something to the effect of, “Something has crept, or has been driven out of dark waters under the mountains. There are older and fouler things than diseases such as Coronavirus in the deep places of the world.”
Could Socrates have applied his wisdom to such times? “Employ your Social Isolation time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come by easily what others have labored hard for.”
What legends and historical stories will come out of the Coronavirus Outbreak of 2020? Which people will history remember as heroes, and who will be remembered as the villains? Could it be possible that the people who thought were heroes would end up to be the ultimate villains within our story? Could it be that the most villainous of humanity will be remembered as the heroes? Who will we become? Will we be protagonists, antagonists or just a filler character in the background whose only job is to sit there and look pretty?
Who will you become as this current event in history threatens to define who you are?
I think about this question for myself. Who will I be as the story progresses?
This is where we find out what we are made of, and who we were created to be.