I held off on writing about COVID19 for so long because it seemed to be a fad, and I was just sick of hearing about it. Now, that the dust has settled and the Earth didn’t completely shut down, I have a bit better perspective on it. There is always change in our world. When I was growing up, we didn’t even have cell phones until I was in high school. We can moan about it and reminisce about the “good ol' days”, or we can adapt. As a species, we have been adapting. Are we adapting like the frog who is sitting in a gradually warming pot of water, or like [some other more positive metaphor]? I hope the latter. Therefore, I posit that COVID19 has had a net positive effect on the world, and personally in my own family.
First off, as with any major event in our world, wars or pandemics, there is loss of life. Were not the boom years after WW1 and 2 because millions of people died? Jobs opened up for others, more food and wealth was divided amongst fewer people. The same thing happened after the Black Death. The Black Death killed at least 75 million people. So far, COVID19 has only killed 5 millions humans on a planet with almost 7 billion of us on it. Why has COVID19 been positive for the world? It has shocked us and brought us back to reality. It has shown us that we are human and our health and environment matter. We are not some ethereal beings that can exist on the Internet, or only through devices. We are mortal. We eat, breathe, sleep. Fuck Bitcoin, the cloud, Tesla, and all this other garbage that has blinded us to major problems on our world. COVID19 has reminded us of the real things that are important: family, friends, health care, doctors, nurses, social safety nets, and sane politicians (aren’t they in the shortest supply?). It has also shown the world that China is a dangerous country. They lied about where COVID19 originated, and when it started. They have put their propaganda machine on overdrive to try and make people forget about all their lies and stalling to let the world know they had a major problem. People are realizing that they are not a positive force in this world, and everybody should be wary of China. Unfortunately, almost all manufacturing occurs in China though. Countries are starting to realize that for the sake of national security you cannot rely on China to manufacture everything, some things have to be made at ‘home’, or in a democratic ally’s country - no China is not democratic, they have a Chairman not a president. But I digress…let’s get back to COVID19 and how it affected my family and I.
For my family, the beginning of COVID19 was a bit scary. I have two children and obviously was worried about their health and safety. As Taiwan slowly made it out of the darkest days, it has been more calm. My family has travelled a lot less during the past 2 years, even within Taiwan. It’s natural to want to be ‘safe’, and safe right now means staying away from large groups of people. These past two years our lifestyle has change, but gotten better in many ways. Since restaurants were closed, or we just avoided them for some time, we started cooking at home a lot more. This led my wife to become more interested in baking. Now, she bakes all sorts of yummy treats for our family from lemon pound cake, to my personal favourite, Nanaimo Bars! I’m happy she’s found a new hobby! Our family has avoided crowded places, so this means we stayed home more watching TV together, playing board games, making art projects, or exercising outside. Once it was ‘safe enough’ to be outside, we started visited out door places like parks, or walking trails. We have been avoiding public transportation but have now started taking mini road trips to the less populated parts of Taiwan. We live near Taipei, so taking a road trip anywhere outside of Taipei is automatically less crowded. I do miss taking international trips with my family, but we are adapting.
Some of you will think I’m a heartless bastard for writing this. I’m not heartless, I just have a cold rationality. It feels a bit like the world was too crowded, we have overstretched the resources of this world, and a nasty virus took advantage of that. Yes, there probably was some fooling around in China that kicked off this whole pandemic, but if not China in 2019, it would’ve occurred somewhere else. Does anybody remember the Spanish flu of 1910? Nope, neither did I and that was the problem. Our world is so interconnected now that something that happens on the other side of the world can still have a major impact on you. We all live on this planet, and need to do better - in so many ways. I hope COVID19 has woken up a lot of people out of their complaceny towards health care, the environment, and the evils of capitalism. I have to be honest though, I don’t think it can really change us ‘oldies’ that much (that’s why a lot of us gotta die!), but I wonder about the kids who are livign through COVID19 right now and if they will have a different, or better world view than us? Time will tell.
Stay safe out there people!