October 21, 2021

Do you find it exciting that you are living in unprecedented times?

by Dushka Zapata, Quora

I feel angry, sad, scared, and uncertain. I am suffering from some sort of daily emotional whiplash, because so many things that at some level I took for granted were immutable have disintegrated within weeks: from my habits to my bus ride to my regular family visits to my resolve that things have a tendency to work out.

I guess it’s healthy to waver if the sway is an act of elasticity.

I remember having a conversation with my hairdresser less than four months ago. “Everyone needs regular haircuts” he said. “My business is pretty resilient”.

I remember having a conversation with a friend who works in the travel business. “People will always travel” he said. “It will never go away.”

I remember having a conversation with a co-worker. “Working from home will always be the exception” he said. “An office is the default.”

I feel disappointed – crushingly so- in how quickly this virus has exposed fractures in a system that was already irreparably broken. Injustice, inequality, racism, are all becoming impossible to miss, even when their existence was already outrageously evident.

I can’t believe what I accepted as “normal.” I can’t believe all the things we just get used to.

I feel uncertain that I am not yet sure what the future will look like. When will I get on a plane, and why? When will I see my mother? Is she going to die from this? Will she die alone?

Will I?

I will also tell you I feel riveted. So many incredibly interesting things are happening. Some are interesting and devastating, like what the virus does once it penetrates our cell structure. Some are interesting and terrible, like the incident of a single man, sick, going from one nightclub to another in Seoul. Some are interesting and beautiful, like our resilience, like Italians singing from their balconies, like people clapping every day at 7:00 pm in honor of those risking everything to take care of others.

There is a man on Instagram who plays the piano every day. The notes go right through my chest like an antidote.

Humans fascinate me. I love them. Their adaptation is the greatest show on Earth. But I’ve got to tell you, I wonder every day for at least a minute if maybe the world isn’t better off without us.