I’ll admit it. I’m scared.
Several weeks ago, I was among the many among us who didn’t take any of this Corona business seriously. I’ve been around for a handful of scares here and there, and it’s always felt like the media is obsessed with working us up into a frenzy.
Well, of course they are!
The Big Bad Media
If you tell people it’s going to snow tomorrow, they say, “Hmm. Interesting.” And they move on with their day.
But if you tell them it’s Snowpocalypse, now you have everyone’s attention. They’ll check the news constantly, and you’ll have them eating out of the palm of your hand.
And even though the next day we might get a few flurries, most will still fall for the trick time and time again.
But for me, it’s like the reporter who cried “wolf”. I heard of the Corona scare, and immediately assumed sensationalism. I thought we were being worked up in order to sell newspapers.
Corona: Here We Are
And here we are. Thousands are dead. Thousands more are in quarantine. I’m bored out of my skull, spending countless hours cramped up indoors. And no one knows when this thing will end.
But my Coronavirus fears go way beyond illness or even death. For certain, I’m among the many who don’t wish to be near anyone for fear of getting sick or ending up in quarantine, and thus facing even further isolation. But there is a whole lot to be afraid of right now.
Some Kids Played Soccer…
Last night I heard noise coming from my window. I looked outside and saw several teenagers playing soccer in the field across the way.
Now, this field is mega-popular. It’s filled with people and sport all day long. But not lately. Now playing organized sports is on the long list of banned activities, and the field remains empty all day every day.
So these boys were out there, yelling and having a blast, in direct contradiction to the standing orders we are all subject to right now. And after they were out there for a while, a passerby called the police, who arrived shortly and dispersed the teens. Who most certainly went home angry, frustrated, and bored.
But let’s look a bit deeper at what happened here.
Essentially, kids just played outside. On the surface, they did nothing wrong. And one side of me understands why they were there, and sympathizes with their need to feel some level of normalcy in their lives.
On the other hand, the numbers keep climbing, and it’s likely due to continuous violation of the rules. So the Coronavirus rules aren’t working, and are thus getting stricter and stricter. And making all of our lives worse by the minute.
Damned if they do…
So, I’m scared if they don’t go out and play. And I’m even more scared if they do.
If they don’t, the most complicated problem we can be facing is what happens when you have thousands of bored teenagers itching to get the hell out of their houses. How long before they terrorize the neighborhoods? How long before their inability to play soccer becomes vandalism and harassment? Or worse!
And how long before simply going outside is a criminal offense, punishable by fines or even imprisonment? When will military vehicles wander the streets making sure everyone is behaving in accordance with the law?
What will Israel be when citizen is, once again, pit against soldier or police officer? How long before everyone forgets that we’re all on the same side with one common goal?
The Fears are Abundant
And that’s not the only thing I fear.
For the most part, I’m only leaving the house to walk my dog or to go shopping. Along the way, I pass quite a lot of people. And the general feeling I get as I pass just about everyone is mistrust and disgust. It’s like we’re all silently enemies with one another, angry at our neighbors since they might have some invisible particles in or on them that could get us sick.
How long does it take before we develop new habits based on our current reality? Will these odd negative feelings toward perfect strangers still be a part of our psyches or behaviors when these imaginary walls surrounding us finally come tumbling down?
And some of my biggest fears are about life post-Corona.
There are scares that happen all the time. We’re accustomed to getting nervous and then watching everything just blow over like it was never there. But I fear our response to anything that comes our way post-Corona will forever be mass panic.
The news will tell us of some odd flu passing through Europe, and the next thing you know everyone will be wearing masks and there will be no toilet paper in any of the supermarkets. People will fear going outside or socializing with anyone.
Indeed, we’ve had some hard times already. And we have many more ahead of us, for sure. But the world is a different place now. Just like anyone who remembers how different the airport experience has become since 9/11, we’ll all look back and discuss how things were different before the Coronavirus overturned our lives.
Some Good in Corona?
Maybe some good will come our way. Who knows? I’ve always wondered what it would take to bring unity to an otherwise very messy planet. It might not be the most luxurious way to create a bond, but a common enemy is a tried and true way to unite disparate elements. It’s happened time and time again, and shouldn’t really matter if our enemy is invisible.
We are all one on this planet. If I learned anything from years of hosting Couch Surfers, we are all way more similar than we are different. Yes, we might speak different languages. And have some different practices and food preferences. But we’re all pretty darn similar. And to be certain, we all really want to survive.
The Other Side
I long for a day when our differences can be pushed to the side in favor of looking deeply at how much we need one another, and how our lives are so greatly enhanced by the existence of one another.
We can get through this. We will get through this. Together.
And hopefully the world we find on the other side of this tragedy will be one we all still love living in. Maybe even more so.
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