There is silence in this moment, freedom. No political bullshit, no opinions meant to conform me to another’s belief, no stanchions of social organization, masks, arrows, and markers on the ground, the culmination of distancing. In this quiet away from the Covid, I reflect upon the fear and our future. A pandemic would come again. It is a cycle that cannot be broken. We are not so smart to halt this enemy, so our governments forced us into the safety of our homes, shattering the world outside. Our economy is a fragile bitch. She wastes without our feed, undermining the foundations of our sturdy abodes. People are suffering. More will in the coming years. We have allowed our fear of death to change the world but not for the betterment of mankind.
Most people do not wish to die; we have lives to live, loved ones to care for, goals to achieve, lists to build and deplete. But in time, death will arrive at the doorway. For most people, their surety is not sound enough to accept a walk across the threshold. What is beyond, we will all discover someday. But this fear of Covid-19, that we must stay home to stay healthy, is so narrowminded. It has allowed our governments the argument to strip our freedoms, close public spaces. What will they take next to stymie the panic?
Sure, I do not wish to contract the virus, suffer from its razor claws around my lungs. I do not wish to lose my parents, in-laws, aunts, uncles from its veracity. But our desperation to save our loved ones will destroy so many more. It is spring. Farmers are shorthanded. Less fields are being planted. Livestock are being euthanized because processing plants are closed. Food shortages will follow. Despite our governments’ attempts, many businesses will shut their doors for good. Jobs will be lost and families forced from their homes. Our economy may collapse. Hunger, homelessness, crime, suicide, and domestic violence will surge.
We have flattened the curve, for now. But the virus is not going away soon. Once governments allow from our domiciles, its head will rear again and again. Scientists may come up with a vaccine but that is a minimum year out, plus the time it will take to inoculate entire populations. The virus will mutate; additional strains will emerge. We will fight this battle for years, decades, all the while eroding society.
By our definition of humanity, we must try to save the most lives, young and old alike. Though the young have succumbed to the virus, the old with underlying medical conditions are its staple, and I wonder if humanity is not in err. Are we sacrificing so many livelihoods, maybe entire societies, to give the old and ill a few more years?
As much as we have tried to erect steel and concrete grids to protect us from the wild, we are not exempt from its laws. Charles Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest applies not only to evolution but existence. But somehow, we believe humanity supersedes, that nature’s rules do not apply to us, and we attempt to thwart her proxies. By saving the weak, the old, the infirm, and the idiots, we are breeding ourselves out of an existence. Humans have overpopulated. Losing three, five, ten percent is but a drop in the bucket and might do some healing. Less people means less pollution, more resources to go around, and fewer wars. Maybe the Earth and its life could take a deep breath after a good cleansing.
In cruising through Facebook, I ran across a recent post concerning the error in people wanting to get back to work and why we (as a society) must always try to protect people. We have them wear seatbelts; we seek cures for cancer. And our stay home, stay healthy governmental orders are of the same genre. But I disagree. Those seatbelts and cancer research are not to the detriment of society. The consensus in the post and its comments was that people were idiots for wanting to go back, that we should stay away from the danger, hide in our homes until the pandemic is finished. The statement that caught my attention, that I could not let be: “even animals know to run from danger”.
Yes, but even a spooked deer will run straight into traffic. Look further than the curve in the road. Your unemployment checks will not last forever. Our kids and their kids will spend their lifetimes paying for our staycation.