For the Love of the World We Once Knew

Here I go again. On my high horse. But now that the streets are empty, there’s room for everyone’s opinion.

The situation we’re in now is both utterly grave and incredibly laughable. We’ve graduated away from our fear of our world leaders tearing each other’s lands (and people) to shreds and settled into the dread of an invisible enemy. It moves among us like a ghost, unseeable and uncatchable. The true visage of death in his shadowy cloak.

The only thing on anyone’s mind is the coronavirus. COVID-19.

You can’t leave your house without hearing about it…

because you can’t leave your house.

Insidious little pathogens that multiply like roaches and have militantly infested the world, taken over nearly everyone’s land and left us to hide.

This virus is not wholly new. It’s one of a series of coronaviruses, following up on SARS and MERS which took hold in the early 2000s.

In addition to the corona league, the world is swimming in viruses. One study of pathogens concludes that there are about “ten billion times as many as there are stars in the universe.” The same studies illustrates that 100 billion viruses can be found in just one liter of surface seawater.

Viruses exist among us, everywhere, and go unnoticed. Now that COVID-19 has been unleashed, the risk of it spreading is too much to turn a blind eye. Left to its vices, it would easily dismantle the world as we know it, slicing the population. We stay indoors, hoping to stay clean and pure and protected, so that it can go away and we can resume life.

It’s an Easter season that hasn’t been witnessed since the Jews sought freedom from the Pharaoh, the plagues hit Egypt and, eventually, the first-borns were slaughtered. We’re just about painting our front doors in lamb’s blood, hoping for the spectre to pass us by.

We’re hoarding–toilet paper, canned goods, pasta–because without what we can buy now, we’re completely useless.

How will we clean ourselves?

What will we eat?

The sky is falling!

People call into radio stations admitting what they’ve stocked up on. Some people opted for flour until they realized they didn’t know how to make bread.

Someone called in and, I shit you not, in spite of admitting that he’s a non-smoker, admitted to buying 400 lighters.

Just in case.

It’s a true display of what the human condition has turned into: pathetic hysteria across sexes, classes, and cultures when something goes wrong. One person panics and it picks up like wildfire.

Weird, didn’t we just see how bad wildfire is for mankind?

Still, the clear problem, the true fear, is a lack of resources, one of them being food. We can’t rely on restaurants at this time. Unfortunately, they’re prone to facilitate the spread. What’s in our homes (or what’s available–at this point–for delivery) is all we’ve got.

People today don’t mull our own wine and churn our butter. We don’t all have fields of wheat in which we can harvest a supply of flour and feed our families. We depend on mass production. We depend on others.

We know they exist, the farmers. And we know factories take care of business, for the most part. So we all amble about our normal days, seeking ways to hoard money together so we can trade it for this bread at our leisure.

How the tables have turned. How many people are out of work? How many of the investment bankers and real estate titans and sports big wigs are still finding themselves profitable in times of true need? The real underlying problem of it all is just that: base needs of humankind.


Another of my favorite comedians, Chris D’Elia, sent out a tweet a few days ago:

“So weird a guy ate a bat halfway across the world and now I can’t go to the gym.”

Funny, ironic as hell, and a powerful way of summing up the situation. Some guy ate a bat. One guy out of 715 million guys in China. One person out of the 1.4 billion people in the country which accounts for one eighth of the world population… all who need to eat to survive. All who find a way to do so, even if all conventional ways are unavailable.

The butterfly effect takes on a whole new meaning in this context.

In truth, the tweet is a stretch. Scientists don’t believe he ate the bat, but that the bat infected another animal that was then sold at market.

So he ate some sort of animal, and caught an infection, and our world that was already crawling with disease was introduced to one more. And healthcare, something we’ve deemed an industry, an “economic activity,” is now the keystone in the archway to salvation.

From the standpoint of our planet, it’s only fair. You want to live in excess, She seems to say, then excess will come to you on both sides of the scale, in good and evil. In dark and light. The modern world has thrown the natural world completely out of whack. Now things are shaken and stirred, and the sand is striving for stability.

Though it’s strange that it’s come to this, can we really be surprised?

In the end, we need to decide where to stand, what to make of it. Are we gonna tip the scales back to where they were, or are we really going to do something about finding a balance?

So now, again, we’re faced with our choices. We’re tasked with being cognizant of others so they, too, have something to wipe their asses–a pot to piss in, so to speak–and healthy food to eat. When the world goes back to normal, we’re still going to need each other.


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