A few days ago, I wrote this dystopian piece of fiction: “Checkpoint Hellweg #17“. It is based on the question “What would happen if even more lethal mutations of the Covid-19 virus would develop and spread like a wildfire?”. One could argue that we don’t need even more disturbing negative stories, but I wrote it against the background that, all too often, only those see how the virus is rampaging through our societies who have a direct personal experience. Like I said, nurses for example.
We cope with a huge amount of conspiracy theories, distortion of reality by anti-vaxxers, and more, mixed with a may be growing body of people who are just fed up, who crave normality, who express their feelings of being upset by confinements coming from lockdown measures, mixed also with people who rightfully express concern about protecting human and citizen’s rights. We have the full spectrum of people mindfully expressing their opinion, unfortunately at the same time being abused by people with malicious intent to establish a narrative of police states controlling their citizens.
We need to remind ourselves that we only see what we want to see. So, here a few disturbing pictures about what we sometimes don’t like to see. The reality is disturbing, cruel, and dystopian, compared with what we experienced 16 months ago.
BBC published pictures today. They are NOT for the faint of hearts. They describe today’s reality in New Delhi, India. “India coronavirus: Round-the-clock mass cremations“. This is what happens if you have spikes like the above graph, taken from the COVID-19 dashboard of the Johns Hopkins University, today. Whether you, according to the cultural context of your society, do public mass cremations, or you are using refrigerator vans, it doesn’t matter. This virus is lethal beyond anything that rips through our societies on a seasonal level.
I have a friend who lives and works in Karachi, Pakistan. Already being under a yearlong lockdown, this friend tried to get vaccinated in Dubai, with no success. This friend is now considering to take a long journey to the U.S., to get the jab at home. This friend is frightened to death about neighboring India, and the already catastrophic situation in Pakistan.
Still, like I, and many of us who do international work, we are privileged, and we remain grateful, on a daily basis. Because we are surrounded by billions of people with no escape route. The many of us who stay “local” and live in privileged countries of the West, I would like to join those who remind us about how lucky we are. And we should take no pride from it, or wrong feeling of being superior:
I am the first one to admit how much the situation sucks, seemingly without end. I am the first one to admit how my entire life has been affected, whether my ability to see my loved ones, taking care of helping my children, or my mental state, which more often than not can be nicely described as “challenging”.
But I am also joining all those who call for reason, and responsible action. We will get through this. If we stay in it together. Only then. On a local, national, regional, and global level.
We need to share what we have. The pandemic is just like the proverbial gasoline poured over an already burning fire called “Global Warming”, which is so much an understatement term of the year.