A world gone mad. How many times have we heard that phrase? It has turned into a little bit of a ‘boy cries wolf’ situation hasn’t it. Yet here we go again, a new virus meandering through the world making headlines by the hour. Note I say meandering and not something like tearing or racing. This is a slow burn, the early figures in itself indicate that.
I get that the government have to be over cautious. If they down play something and it turns out be a lot worse there will be lynchings. I for one actually think the world as a whole has got a good grip on this. Solid advice, practical advice, common sense advice.
But what does this actually all mean? What is the reality for us day-to-dayers?
As I write this it is day one of working form home. Work has to be done, doesn’t matter where you are or what the situation is. What I don’t understand is the panic buying, the frenzied shopping. What does this achieve? How and where does it start? Why toilet roll and pasta? How long do you think you will be at home for? Are you planning to eat poorly prepared pasta meals every day that give you explosive diarrhoea? Where is the logic and what are the thought processes? I think the problem lies in what we hear will happen to us should we contract this particular strain of the flu (because that is all it is when you analyse it) or what we actually think will happen to us. We know the symptoms, we know those at risk and we know that most of us will get over the infection with no real disruption. So why the paranoia? It started out as a low probability entity that we would be unlikely to come in contact with. To now being pitched that we will get it, there is nothing you can do now to escape it’s wrath! Yes there is. Wash your hands regularly as you should be doing anyway, don’t cough or sneeze out into the air, something you shouldn’t be doing anyway and don’t go round licking other peoples eyeballs. Not that tricky is it. Yet you walk the train and underground platforms of London and people are either launching cough and sneeze plumes into the air or dressed as if they’re returning from an acid house rave.
We adopt a survival mentality that shows the ugly side of humanity. It’s not a survival mentality of solidarity but one of every man for himself. Which is just plain sad.
I have done my shopping, just my usual shopping buying the things I buy weekly and seeing the state of the shelves is just bizarre. You see more on the shelves in an episode of The Walking Dead than in supermarkets lately. Maybe that is where this is heading? I jokingly said a couple of weeks ago that people are assuming that if you contract the virus that we will immediately go into a Total Recall-esque seizure. Could it be I was close?
How the situation has evolved in such a short time frame is quite staggering. Facts about annual influenza are pretty solid. Every year the world suffers a great loss in life and no one really pays too much attention. The problem is when things are given names, it makes it real, beyond real. Like a superhero. You can’t defeat a superhero. You therefore can’t defeat SwineFlu, Corona, Uncle Albert virus or whatever else you want to call something. Give it an identity and you grant it power over us. We have gone from practical steps that help manage a situation to borderline chaos, all when nothing has actually changed. I think it’s because we fill in the blanks ourselves. The things we don’t know we create and accept as fact. If you fart, burp, sneeze and cough in under a minute you will die from Corona. It happened to my friend. And so urban legend and hysteria are born.
Let’s just remain calm, follow the solid and practical advice and keep ourselves informed. Do that and you never know, we might just live to tell the tale.
Or, could this be a man made virus sanctioned by the world powers to control the human population……