Serious Time

Okay, so it’s not really this blog’s place to talk about Real Issues, it’s a place to talk about fun things. But I think that for posterity, I should take a few moments to discuss my thoughts on the COVID-19 pandemic. Best case scenario, it’ll be fun for Future Me to look back on how terribly misinformed I was. Worst case… I’m dead and it’ll be fun for you to look back on how terribly misinformed I was.

COVID-19, as I’ve learned, is a totally new virus that the world was understandably unprepared for. To a degree, I guess. While obviously it’s going to take time to study, understand, and come up with a vaccine, a few news articles/tweets I’ve read have suggested that the infrastructure to get out ahead of something like this just doesn’t exist. Or we reacted too late? I really don’t know. I’m not going to claim to be an expert. It just seems to me that maaaybe this is a good opportunity for governments the world over to be more ready for this kind of catastrohpe.

And I don’t think that catastrophe is hyperbole. While a huge percentage of people who contract the virus do recover, it’s still killed thousands, and those numbers are just going to keep going up. Schools are shutting down, offices are issuing work-from-home mandates, major sports leagues have suspended their seasons, the stock market is crumbling to pieces. The entire country of Italy is closed for business. I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s like the backstory to a dystopian movie or something. I’m actually a little frightened of how much worse it’s going to get, and what that’s going to mean for human society.

And that’s my main fear. I’ve made it no secret that I’m not terribly fond of the human race, but that doesn’t mean I want to see it suffer like this. And maybe it really won’t be all that bad. Maybe everything I know is just a product of the overreacting that the internet is no fond of. Entirely possible! After all, I’ve only been keeping up with the goings-on from news reports and Twitter. Only one of those is even semi-credible.

But the other thing I worry about is that someone I care about will be afflicted. Myself? Not so much. I’m young(ish), I’m in the best shape of my adult life, and I have no existing medical issues. I’m near the bottom of COVID-19’s hit list. I beat pneumonia as a weak little 9-year-old, I can beat a beefed-up version of it now. (Of course now that I say that, I’m as good as doomed.) But I have a lot of family members who are up in that 65+ range, many with existing health issues. And I genuinely worry for them. I’m hoping for the best, and am ready to help out in any way that I can, but I’m still deeply concerned about all of this.

Anyway, it sounds like this is really all just getting started. Like, it’s going to keep seriously affecting the world for months to come. I’ll admit that I didn’t take it very seriously at first, thinking it would pass fairly quickly and that it was just media blowing something out of proportion. But now “experts” (I put experts in scare quotes because I haven’t investigated the source of these claims) are projecting a death toll of over a million in the United States alone, so… yeah. Maybe it’s time to stop joking about people hoarding toilet paper, and start being one of the people hoarding toilet paper.

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