Love and healing in the endless whirlpool of fear, dogma, and the collapse of everything normal.
Updated: Jan 5
I woke up this morning particularly refreshed. It was as though god - or whatever cosmic being controls this great cosmic experiment - had reached out and blessed me with the rest that only those without a guilty conscious get, or a deep satisfying sleep a father who had provided his family with enough firewood to stay warm for the winter. It was a rest of a sort of biblical nature that provided clarity and almost levity. Strange time for such a thing to happen, but who am I to question the good when I do not even understand the bad? Then, a thought occurred to me though, not like a “bolt of lightening” or a “sudden realization” but a gentle realization of how much adversity we have faced this year, we as humans. This year has been fraught with fear and loathing. You can almost imagine the immense bore and puzzlement of a future schoolchild as they read about cultural wars that will seem like bizarre afterthoughts that now belong in a history textbook. Anti-maskers vs. Maskers? People denouncing medicine, then buying their Ambien so they can have a little extra zing during their glass of wine at night? Then as if even things could not get more bizarre there were people denying that this virus, while dying from it, what kind of demented propaganda were these people holding onto? And why? Truly there were powerful forces at work here that need to be studied. But nothing got more press than the virus. The ultimate headline grabber, the type of stories newspapers salivate over because any minor update would mean millions in sales or clicks or scrolls, views or subscribers, listeners of podcasts downloads it was in essence the boogeyman of our time. Much like Osama Bin-Laden, SARS-CoV-2 became the great viral demon of our time. That’s the actual name of it, but much like the fearful days during the HIV epidemic, AIDS and HIV were synonymous. If one were to get infected by it, it was called “COVID-19”. Though, not scary enough still, COVID caught the headlines, then Corona (much to the dismay of the Mexican beer manufacturer). Eventually people started calling it whatever they wanted because it had percolated throughout every facet of our society. The president announced operation “warp speed” to fight this pestilence, much to my dismay of this man, he deserves credit for that.
I drove across this great nation in a journey of incredible importance, which I shall not reveal to you, but it was vital and essential in nature. The vibe was terrifying, it was as if the soviets had launched the nuclear weapons and everyone was hiding but they got lost a long the way. Truck stops, abandoned. People fearful of their own countrymen, windows slammed shut at the thought of buying a bottle of water at the local gas station in Piapot Saskatchewan. Tales of militarized provincial borders that were clearly rumours bordering mass-hysteria and delusions. This was a terrifying and yet some how incredibly fascinating time to take a road trip. Due to the diligence of remaining a somewhat stable society the corporate mega-giant conglomerate hotels who forced their “essential” workers to stay, this had made my journey much more comfortable. It was a weird sight, they were so bored because of the lack of customers yet once they saw me they realized I might be a plague-spreader and a fear washed over them. Truly a confusing time for us all. We were all going through some mass game of trust vs mistrust. I was simply happy they were open, else I’d have had some cold nights of deep thought and reflection in my truck during this time. I cannot describe the feeling one gets when you stay in downtown Calgary. Was it the Delta, Sheraton? I forget, and you are the only guest 300 rooms, and that’s it. The whole staff came out and hung out, the chef, barkeep, everyone and we remained socially distanced (I had n95’s) but it was this bizarre get-together. “how was Winnipeg?” “how was Regina” “Is Toronto on fire yet?”. A strange gathering of people pondering on the unknown state of a potential calamity with -what was then- a seemingly limitless destruction. If I had to describe it, It was like drinking a beer while on the moon. Weird sensations and strange emotions overtook me. You were it, the only brave soul to emanate from their dwelling despite the sheer fear, terror and an unpalpable feeling as if somehow, someway things would get worse.
They did, for a while. Eventually though saner heads prevailed, and the vitriol cooled down, a bit. One must remember during this time the misinformation was incredible “30-40% mortality rates, airborne contagion, prepare for complete lock down” Toilet paper suddenly became a sacred commodity. People were clamoring for every cleaning product known to man. Clorox wipes were probably worth more than a gram of heroin for a time. People were making hand-sanitizer, the President of the United States was telling people to ingest bleach. Truly, for a while, it seemed that society had gone mad. Eventually, and with great agony the scientists started coming to sensible hypothesis and hard data. Then there were social protests over racial tensions in which some thug killed a man by suffocation, unfortunately for the thugs, that thug was a police officer. Riots spread across America like wildfire. It looked almost like an uprising. Anywhere you went, even here, in Canada, you could feel the tension in the air. Stores were burning, police stations being ransacked just south of the border. For a brief moment, it looked like anarchy. Even in Canada we started bordering up windows, our own prime minister kneeled on parliament hill in an act of solidarity with this hatred for another nations police and systemic racism that plagues our own. It was a weird time. All the while COVID was looming in the background, taking a siesta. It seems it’s easier to socially distance and be apart from each other when the weather’s nice and drinking in parks is better than bars. Then, like clockwork, the weather got colder, and the cases spiked. The President even got sick, though was given some experimental cocktail of medicine I’m sure the average American from Baltimore would have access to, and within days he made his resurgence. Then, things got really strange, all this happened during an election. Yes, it was an election year as well. As if some sickly joke, the world wanted to see how much we could handle. The cracks were starting to show. Gun violence, accusations of fraud, packing the supreme courts, it almost seemed as if America was on the brink of civil war, again, yet all it took was the right spark, “Kent State” or a “Rodney King”.
If I were to describe this year in a sentence it would be “the opposite of everything hippies wanted in 1969 in San Francisco”. Yet, in some cruel twist of faith that is what was needed right now. Free love, the embrace of another human. The ability to feel safe walking into a store or going into a theatre, being friends with strangers and hanging out in communes the choice of love instead of fear. What we got was a “virtual Christmas”. god what a depressing thing to even think of. Watching each other open gifts on TV is a fad that should not catch on in any mainstream fashion at all, in fact it should be banned. I’d rather eat lead paint than go through that process.
Bringing us back to this morning, the inspiration for this rant or tirade or insane ramble, after my gifted sleep granted by some being, biology or combination of things I’ll never really understand, it hit me. It hit harder than a bat to the head. We, as a species are in withdrawal. Not from a drug, or some kind narcotic that they have to ween you off of. We are in withdrawal from each other. We are in withdrawal of love. This is what a world slowly losing its love looks like. More sanitized, less personal, and more virtual. We can no longer shake a man’s hand and go on about our day without the hand-sanitizer immediately being brought out. “elbow taps” and the whole lot of it was just withdrawal symptom mitigation. These brave scientists, no, heroes, in my opinion, have been working tirelessly to bring us out of that state. Vaccines, and if you are an anti-antivaxxer, just stop reading and light yourself on fire, are the beginning of a long healing process. It will take most likely a decade before the world we once knew. The great year of our lord 2019, to happen again. The amount of social and cultural change is staggering, I’m sure there will be biological repercussions beyond the virus itself. Habits, adopted, people from working from home, the technocracy has used this benefit to financial gain by dividing us as humans and telling us to “be safe” or whatever that means. No thank you. When the bulk of us are vaccinated and we start to awake from this fever dream that was the last 18 months, I will shed the “social norms” that were forced upon me with great delight. No more will I hide under a bed in fear or something that may or may not get me sick and may or may not kill me. What our governments did was right, (well some of them) but this is a one-shot gun. We shot it. As I type this, I realize people around the world are being vaccinated for this great pestilence, and it brings me to a quote from some old, antiquated self-help author Napoleon Hill. Normally I do not buy into that drudge, but this quote rings especially true: Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.
The first embrace, parties, get togethers, church groups, the grandparents longing the touch of their grandkids will be a hit of that drug we have been depraved of for so long will begin to undue the damage of our plague-ridden year. To call it anything different would be to lie. The fever is close to breaking, and soon we’ll be free, both from our conscientiousness and to do what we like without worry from punishment from an authority. The great high of 2021 will sweep across the world and bring upon it: healing. And for a moment, just for a moment, it will send a shiver down the technocrat’s spine. They will never be able to automate a hug of a mother and a child. Love and healing await us, if we are patient enough for it. Truly strange thoughts this December morning. I wonder why, the strange sleep? The weather? The atmosphere? Maybe we are starting to see the high watermark of fear and degradation upon the wall and the waves are receding, bit by bit. I Feel a sense of perversion writing this, like I am jinxing it. But to quote Sagan yet again “A Demon Haunted world” has passed and it seems like we have made it though. Embrace the light and enjoy the love and remember the life you used to live, this is how we heal. Maybe, just maybe we can learn and grow, and society will benefit as a whole as a result of the great whirlpool of disaster, fear, and dogma in 2021. Maybe not, but a man can dream.