“Mother nature is a serial killer, no one’s better, more creative, but like all serial killers, she can’t help the urge to want to get caught.”
– World War Z
Dearest Friends and Enemies,
As I’m sure we are all coming to realize: the world is collectively losing it’s proverbial shit. In real time. And with good reason. COVID-19 is, truthfully, an unprecedented global health event. The likes of which hasn’t been seen since the macabre days of the Bubonic Plague.
Ring around the rosies
Made far worse by ego-maniacal bigots in positions of power labeling the threat as nothing more than “hysterical political” propaganda. World leaders concerned far more with their approval rating than quelling the exploding panic of the public. Drowning out the scientific community with arrogance and make-believe statistics. Only taking it seriously when they have something to lose. Their ignorant rhetoric and hubristic approach is not only wildly irresponsible – it’s dangerous. Compounding an already unstable present tense.
Add to this a main stream media that is whipping it’s audience into a frenzy. The news cycles are both vital to the situation and exploitative of the situation. Their coverage is constant, insatiable and most importantly – profitable. Making it a task for anyone to discern what is truth and what is exaggeration. One can not glance at a news station without being accosted by grim discussions, finger pointing, grandstanding and pearl clutching.
Pocket full of posies
We also have the scourge of social media commenting incessantly from the bleachers. Internet know-it-all’s waving the pandemic off as nothing worse than the common cold. This is the equivalent of Oscar the Grouch shaking his fist at passers by. A veritable meme factory heckling at every turn. LOL’ing at those who are going overboard and stocking up on enough toilet paper to last them through the ice age. It’s not as if they don’t have a point about the counter productivity of mass panic – but they’re doing this by stigmatizing something that should be taken seriously. Inundating the web with surplus negativity and their tireless complaining. It isn’t helping a damn thing.
But there is a bright spot. Unlike the long, horrifying period marred by The Black Death, we are, as a society light years ahead in terms of scientific discovery and understanding. We are undeniably medically advanced. We are far more prepared.
Despite this. We are watching the world slow to a crawl and the markets crash. We are witnessing businesses shuttering and people sheltering in place. We are seeing jobs and schools on indefinite hold. Arts and sports on pause. Grocery stores emptied and commodities with waiting lists. The quiet is settling in and there are so many among us who are vulnerable. The elderly, immunodeficient, children who rely heavily on discounted school meals. Families living paycheck to paycheck. Our entire way of life is being unceremoniously uprooted.
I find myself wondering how we, as a nation and as a world, will weather this storm? How long before life returns to some semblance of normalcy? But most of all I contemplate the meaning. The origins and the reasons. The fine print and how it changes us. Questions about our humanity. Our reactions and purposes. Divine fate versus random chaos.
I haven’t made progress on this metaphorical rubiks cube as of yet. But one thing I come back to is where this threat started. Not China, geographically speaking. It’s not actually about the latitude and longitude, per say. But it all began at a wet market. Where animals were being kept in deplorable squalor. Slaughtered without hesitation for the benefit of man.
It is not lost on me nor should it be lost on any of you that most of these pandemics begin in the animal population and quickly jump to humans. Typically in spaces where animals are being horrifically mistreated. Testing labs, slaughter houses, wet markets.
It seems to me that Mother Nature is taking her revenge. And rightfully so. In our arrogance and in our greed. In our cruel and assaultive treatment of animals. Our desecration of the earth and it’s resources. She may be teaching us a very harsh lesson. It’s one she’s done before. Maybe this time she’s hoping it’ll stick.
Throughout history human beings have conveniently forgotten her capabilities. Her dangers endless. Her arsenal deadly. Today, as I wade through a wholly unknown future? I also see Mother Nature settling the score.
We all fall down.
a. duncan, 2020
– “Ophelia” by Ernest Hébert, c. 1910
– Gedogfx (Deviantart Gallery)