In this post I want to reflect and focus on the pandemic situation, still quite out of control that has had to live and we are living our generation. This is a global situation that affects absolutely everyone in different ways, but it has general repercussions for the whole world: how do we deal with a problem that is common to us all? We live in an unimaginable world very close to the science fiction novels and apocalyptic series that many of us have seen. Interestingly, sometimes something that seems impossible to humans may be possible in a relatively short period of time. When we were 5 or 6 years old did we ever think of this general pandemic possibility as a real potential situation? In my case, absolutely not.
It’s the first pandemy that has the characteristic that it’s global, because the world that we are living in, it’s also global. So we haven’t have the possibility to learn too much about other pandemics because it’s a completely new in different senses.
At the begining it was the shock of the fact. Everyone had to manage their emotions related how the life and society were changing day by day.
The hope of regaining the previous life after “this break.” But it was not true. March will have been 1 year and to me it seems like I have lived an eternity. Because it’s not a break. I think this pandemic has changed many things some temporarily, but others forever. It has changed the economic future of my generation, the possibilities we will have, the business idea, the influences of culture, the way of thinking, the way of reacting psychologically against health issues.
We are tired (at least I am!). And we need more strength than ever to imagine and build a decent, personal and social future. But how? The truth is that the economic problems will be absolutely catastrophic. We have high hopes for the money that will rain from Europe, but the long-term consequences of the various countries for such indebtedness must be checked. Or do we think this is money falling from the sky with no further repercussions?
The hope of the vaccine. I must confess that in the early months of the pandemic it was my hope. Vaccinate everyone and in about two or three months return to normal. Perhaps we should be aware that this process is very likely to take longer than we thought. I thought that with the vaccine everything would return to “normality”, but it is not true. We have yet to demonstrate efficacy in combating new coronavirus subtypes and the development of other possible mutations and related potential viruses. I don’t know the future and I’m not in a position to predict the future because not even the experts know it! And this uncertainty, the internal contradictions of the experts, and the fact that the world was not prepared for this fact, even with our medicine and technology, makes me feel the fragility of life and of humans as a species.
And what about the near future of young people? What will happen to the coronavirus after 2.5, 10 years? How will our mentality of civilization, mostly western, react and develop in the coming years? For me, it’s an interesting topic that totally involves me. That is, how to build, organize personal and social life after this subtle but strong war. It is not just the war on the virus: it is the war on the idea we have about our ideals (personal and social) prior to the pandemic. At bottom it is a small or large mourning that we must all to a greater or lesser extent assume. A lot of things will change, it wasn’t a joke. Sometimes I think there are many facts that will be noticed in the future: the economic consequences of countries. We will have no money because we will be in debt up to our necks. This is another important thing: what about the small shops that have not been able (and many that will not be able to) survive this pandemic? What kind of business will survive? The repercussions are not the same for multinationals as small businesses, especially in relation to tourism, bars and restaurants and, of course, with a culture that also has an economic life.
A positive message: life always changes. The most terrible things can happen (world wars) and life goes on without looking back. Life is sometimes relentlessly unfair with personal desires. If anything we have learned as a civilization is that we have been reborn after the most cruel and difficult times of humanity. And the fact that we can’t decide the moment we live in, but we can decide how to manage it with our individual behaviors, actions, and decisions. And we cannot ignore this taking sides and living with all the consequences that entails. This is a fact that occurs projectively, partly individually but obviously also socially.
I would like to end with the following questions: How will our re-invention as a society look like? After 10 years will we be able to say that we were able to imagine accurately our future? Will reality once again surpass fiction?
Marc Trias. Volunteer in a Free democratic School in Warsaw.