This blog is nearly always about topics Japanese, but not always. Today, as with most people in the world, other things are on my mind. And I think I’m going to post about that, today. We can talk about Japanese some other time.
The world – MY world – has begun to see severe disruption because of the spread of the Chinese Virus, also known as the Coronavirus, SARS-2-COV, or COVID. In my neck of the world, schools have shut down, for some reason people are buying so much toilet paper they must be swimming in the stuff, grocery stores have implemented a limit on the number of people who can be inside at one time. Austin has shut down pretty much all non-essential businesses, such as restaurants and bars, and my suburb will, if it hasn’t already, follow suit very soon. Currently, in Austin, there is no longer a rush hour, as nearly everyone who is capable is now working from home. Heck, even my Japanese class is going to be virtual for a while.
The world feels subtly different. It’s like, with the sound of a billion screeching brakes, the world just… stopped. And I’m not sure it’s ever going to be the same again.
And I’m not sure how I feel about that, to be honest.
Some people are going to die, some people are going to get sick, and some people are going to get through this with a big question mark over their heads asking what the heck just happened. Are we going to return to business as usual when this is over? Or is the world now forever changed? If it’s forever changed, will that be for the good, for the bad, or a combination of both? Or will it even be over? Will we be, for the rest of our lives, forever looking over our shoulder, afraid of every cough or sneeze as if it’s looming sudden death?
I’m not comfortable with this. Maybe that’s the point. Maybe no significant or meaningful change happens without some precipitating factor that is the trigger for it. Maybe I am living through a historical inflection point, and the world will look significantly different when we come out the other side.
Or maybe I won’t come out the other side. That’s a possibility I have to consider as well.
I’m not going to go to sleep, and wake up in the morning, and it will be better. The nightmare continues, and soon, the nightmare will be the new normal, and I think that is what I am most afraid of.