When we’re free of pandemic restrictions, what will become of our social selves? For now, I’m staying home in the woods, wearing a mask on those rare occasions when I do go out, and even attending funerals by live streaming.
I wonder, what will be left of our social selves when it’s over? Can we once again trust others, be in social groups without protection or fear, go to church, shop, etc, as we used to do? This is taking so long that it’s bound to have a lingering impact.
Honestly, how can those of us who obeyed the rules ever stop mistrusting others who didn’t when it mattered most. The ignorance and arrogance of those who don’t take Covid seriously has made this time longer than it needed to be. They have prolonged the torment, let people die needlessly, and by lengthening the time caused more harm – economically and socially.
Living through this time demands attention be paid – to health, to safety, to the welfare of others, and to healing the inequities. BUT, paying attention also requires the acknowledgement of facts and truth. Now many are reacting to incomplete and inaccurate information. In that context, how can we do anything meaningful? Chaos reigns, and not just because one person is erratic and unhinged. Maybe Shakespeare can help:
“The time is out of joint. O cursèd spite, That ever I was born to set it right! Nay, come, let’s go together.”
I am enough a child of the 50s to expect there to be an ordered society. And, I worked in high structured organizations, learning to respect rules, regulations and traditions. Thus in many ways this chaos discourages me. The skills I have were honed within those organizations, where when change was needed, we could see that change could come in an orderly process. But then, I got into politics, which is a much less structured world, to say the least.
Whenever it comes, the post pandemic world will be different from our past. Chaotic times are dangerous but civilization has survived such times, though often in an altered state.