Four months on: still there

I wrote this text on March 11, 2020. At the time, things looked grim, but I still hoped the pandemic would begin to drastically change the way we do things. As of yet, it has not.

By the time I have children, all my childhood fears will have come true.

Droughts and hurricanes take turns at wiping out a future that we all thought we had planned out. Finish school, get a job, fall in love, make room for yourself in the world. We rushed to get there early and we found ourselves arriving too late. 

Careers are nothing more than a perpetual scramble for resources that we thought we would grow up to have in abundance, but now we fight our own families for. There’s no time for dreams. The hustle is glorified only for those for whom there’s no end to it in sight. The rest rest easy- we’ve come to call them The One Percent. 

We create wars of entitlement and greed, for those far away enough for our skies to remain clear, and then quickly come to peace with the thought of it. We wear the clothes they make and eat the food they grow and switch channels when they demand the abuse we inflict on them to be seen. The grief and misery we create for others turns them into a common enemy of ours and of those we liken ourselves to. And when all of what we’ve done comes following us home, we use those whom we’ve harmed as a reason to turn against each other, too.

Entire plant and animal species are wiped out before we get the chance to see for ourselves that they’ve ever lived. We watch the few that remain wither away in zoos and die, while the rest are slaughtered and hung on walls above dinner tables as symbols of wealth and ignorance. They elicit admiration on the part of the odd inebriated guest who, given the circumstances and what they want to extract from their host, has nothing better to say. 

We thought the future would be a place where we’d keep the things we loved and have more of the great things that hadn’t even been discovered yet-but the future is a place where we are increasingly learning to lose.

Schools are no longer places of learning, but toxic environments where unskilled individuals abuse their power of misunderstanding the world they live in and its future needs, only to be thanked by exhausted parents who just need to get to work on time. Where commitment and vision and inviduality are met with indifference or worse, condemnation.

They are places where superbugs thrive in the presence of fear and the absence of soap, and perhaps more worryingly, that of knowledge- absent in the people who brought their children into the world, and whether they wanted it or not, and whether they knew it or not, they promised to protect them. They failed. 

They cite the advice of parenting gurus on private Facebook groups and pseudo-scientists that tell them what they find easy to hear and sell, as proof that they’re staying informed on what’s really good for their family. Everything else’s a conspiracy of sorts that only they understand, yet have trouble explaining it out loud, using reason and logic. 

We used to look up to science to create the future that we yearned for, and now science has come to be seen as a hindrance to our freedom to do as we please with the world we live in and ignore the consequences.

As a result, we watch our co-workers, neighbours and friends get admitted into the hospital with a virus that we are yet to understand and hope there’s at least wi-fi for them to post about their experience so we can call them out for attention-seeking behaviour. To accuse them of having been paid to say they’ve tested positive for COVID-19.

On Instagram, it’s business as usual. While the whole world is going to hell in a handcart, influencers still insist that they’re called content creators and continue to try and sell you BB creams, as if your whole life depended on looking like them. In the game of consumerist make-believe you either win or die, but you never, and I mean ever, admit to being a fraud. 

Everyone has trouble breathing.