I have been procrastinating. Basically, quarantine hasn’t changed me one bit. When it comes to writing, I have always been better at staring down deadlines than diligently filling out calendars and to-do lists. My thoughts seem to swirl around the word “unprecedented” and I am struggling to settle them down coherently on paper.
Fear of the unknown plagues all of us from the moment the concept is introduced into our consciousness, often at a very young age. It is the crux of the eternal pessimist and the preferred weapon of the weathered cynic. The optimist attempts to mitigate by planning ahead, determined to minimise the angst of an uncertain future. No matter your coping mechanism, the fact is that we just don’t know what the future holds.
We are all in survival mode for the next few months, but what’s next?
My kids are luckily in their “carpe diem” world, but with online schooling, working from home and parenting 24/7 the future is something that even mom and dad are struggling with at the moment.
These days, people are all about the live cooking at home, dusting off the guitar, reorganising closets, doodling (guilty) and online yoga classes, which is great, but many of us are stubbornly trying to peak through the fog in front of us, which is thicker than usual.
When will this end? How will we know? What will be the new normal?
My greatest concern is our dominant short term memory as human beings. Driven even more so by the younger generations to whom patience is archaic and altruism is arcane. For the first time in many of their lives, there will not be a medal for all participants at the finish line and I’m not quite sure if they will take it very well.
We’ve been so busy as the first generation of helicopter parents that we may not be able to handle the fact that real life can no longer be filtered or sugar coated for our kids.
Will any of us actually learn from this experience or maintain the current mood of solidarity moving forward?
Another consideration is the idea of persistent “social distancing” (I hate this neologism) and how long this will last before we can go back to embracing each other and leaning into each other while confiding something. Kids already social distance behind their screens so the transition hasn’t seemed so shocking them as it has to those generations that are used to face-to-face than FaceTime.
Will we ever be able to go back to hugging and kissing each other like we used to do?
Whatever happens, I am curious to see how each generation wears the scars and remembers how it was in 2020.