I have one bad habit every new year. Not the typical broken resolution but thinking ahead and forgetting to put the rose tinted glasses on first. Especially if everything in the past year or so has gone fairly well… I cannot help but to ask myself ‘what sh*t will go down next and when will it be?‘.

Where will it be?

t/sdcard/DCIM/100GOPRO/GOPR0767

You know how every December, TV stations will do an annual recap of the year? Major events that took place, new sports stars becoming household names, new political scandals. Some of these events come totally out of the blue and I find it fascinating that we cannot predict the next unpredictable event, but it’s inevitable.

I find it pretty scary in all honesty. I have always done this, and I remember in particular this being a very dark thought even as a kid. My earliest memory of this was whilst in the back seat of the car with my family, probably on the way back from my grandparents one evening. As a treat on the return journey (I would often get travel sick and they lived a good 40 minutes away) we would get a takeaway to enjoy on a Sunday evening before school the next day. I don’t know why I thought this then, or why I remember it, but we were outside of the fish and chip shop and I thought to myself ‘one day I am going to get very sick and it’s going to feel awful’ in whatever way my internal dialogue would have manifested at 10 or 11 years old. It is one of my earliest memories of self made anxiety and I tell you it hasn’t really ceased since. I like to obsess about the inevitability of something bad happening and the fear of not knowing when.

At the beginning of the year I did genuinely wonder what would be the next major catastrophe or world changing event. When would it be? Who would it affect? Is it natural or man made? Every year there is at least one huge news story. And knowing 2020 would be no different is frustrating as all we can do each and every time is get on with our lives in the hope that it stays at bay for as long as possible. Whatever it is. It is a monster that we know exists but we don’t know what to look out for.

2020 didn’t take long to become movie like. WW3 almost began as my New Years hangover was only just going away and that caused enough anxiety. For the first time in a while I had a reminder that life is fragile and realised that if something like that did kick off, there isn’t really anything we can do but experience it full on. Our individual lives are dictated by things much larger than ourselves and we have to hope that things just stay calm enough for us to live relatively stable lives. And this kind of stability that only some of us experience in the world today hasn’t always been the norm. This is the best time to have existed for so many of us. But it doesn’t mean this is how it will always be.

But WW3 didn’t happen and so far hasn’t. And as we were just calming down a virus decided to take over the world. Invasions don’t always come in the form of armies and is another reminder on top of the reminder that the ways in which our lives can be disrupted are endless. Ways we cannot predict or prepare well for. Ways that cripple businesses that have been around for hundreds of years. I swear if anyone told me that in 2020 a pandemic would spread and put the world on lock down I would be incredibly skeptical. McDonald’s would close its doors.

McDonald’s!!!

Sporting events would halt. The Premier league here in England would be postponed and stadiums would be considered as temporary hospitals. Liverpool are well on their way to winning their first title in 30 years and I wouldn’t be surprised if the virus emerged from a Manchester lab. I’m just saying…

79fniou00ck41

But as this spreads, and as much as it is a killer, we have to see the positives. Hopefully this will be a warning to us all that we have to have solid plans in place for lock-downs in future. The death rate is pretty low in general, obviously it is higher the older we get and for those with other illnesses, but if it was the same danger to everyone the NHS and services around the world would struggle even more. It is bad, but could be a hell of a lot worse too. A virus that truly hits us all and wipes us out completely. As much as this is disrupting our lives it is sobering to think we have still got it good in the grand scheme of things. I remember the White Island volcanic eruption in New Zealand in December, an eruption with power we simply cannot comprehend as humans. It killed over 20 people visiting the island and a sight the survivors will not forget in a lifetime. The eruption caused an ash plume to rise 12,000 feet into the air. I mention this event because it was considered ‘a throat clearing’ in terms of volcanic activity. And I guess this virus, as dangerous as it is, is probably the same thing.

We are very lucky to witness ‘throat clearing’ events, in the sense that they could be so much more. They aren’t enjoyable, they aren’t safe but they aren’t species ending. If I had to have something positive to take from 2020 so far it would be that. It hasn’t ended us. But I hope it fuels a bigger desire to come together and be aware of the more catastrophic events that are possible, and inevitable.

I hope this is a positive post? It doesn’t really feel it now I read it back, but I was trying.

Also for anyone in the UK, at 8pm (20 minutes time!) the population will be clapping out of their windows to thank NHS workers for working hard to fight the virus. I will be doing so. Thanks mum for letting me know.

Let’s let them know they are are appreciated!

t/sdcard/DCIM/100GOPRO/GOPR0767

21 thoughts

  1. This was a thoughtful and insightful post. I’ve had similar thoughts of some kind or another: “Who knows what will happen next.” It’s part of why I love history so much. You can see the “foreshadowing” of events years before they happen when looking back, but at the time people would have been experiencing it as it happened. Biographical works are especially interesting because you can, in some cases, read about someones life from birth to death in a weekend–covering a period of a whole lifetime, all in a weekend.

    All the interesting analysis is going to happen when Coronavirus is “over”, and at this point, I only mean the government enforced lockdowns.

    But I will say, something about this Virus situation has given me clarity and peace. I’ll explain by analogy, because I’m feeling wordy this afternoon:

    I am an introverted and anxious person by nature. Life has more or less broken me of the severest bits of this, but there are still times and situations where I know I must do something and I know I will not enjoy it. A few years ago I was the best man at a friends wedding. It meant certain things which in a vacuum I tend to avoid: Speaking in front of a crowd, dancing, and meeting a bunch of people I don’t know. But I was the best man, it wasn’t an option, it had to be done. So when the day arrived, I took a deep breathe, told myself: “I am going to do these things and I am going to enjoy it”, and–it’s like someone else took over my body. It was fine, it was a blast, I didn’t worry at all. Whether it went well or not, who knows, who remembers, who cares: it went. I surrendered to the tide of life and just experienced it.

    Thats kind of what I’m experiencing now. I cannot control what is happening in the world. But A few things have been brought into focus. I need to do more to prepare for a crisis. My faith as you know is very important to me: They cancelled public Masses and my Governor just said non-essential gatherings over 10 people are now a misdemeanor offense which carries a penalty of $2500 fine and up to 1 year in prison. Public, common, church service is now all but forbidden. That has shaken me more than anything else. But it definitely puts into focus how I value my faith. When the cards are on the table, that’s something I care about.

    The peace I have through all this shouldn’t be construed as indifference though. I’m in this with the rest of us, I am checking in on my friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, all the same. We’re all in this together. But I also know that whatever will happen will happen. I had to surrender to the tide of life.

    So I like how you describe it as a “throat clearing” event: A little *ahem* that acts of God are still a thing and sometimes we need to be reminded that we are small and ultimately powerless. It’s a good time to re-evaluate what is really important.

    Thanks for this thoughtful piece. All the best to you and yours, stay safe, stay healthy!
    AMDG
    -Scoot

    1. Lovely Scoot. I agree I love history (I didn’t so much studying in school) but now I get to choose what I want to learn about as an adult I find it fascinating. Especially knowing as you say what they wouldn’t have expected at the time, but what was coming and what led to it.

      I understand faith being important to you. I am not religious but as I get older I am appreciating more and more why this is important to people and respecting it. I have things that are important to me and this helps me relate, especially if they are taken away from me. I hope that we all get to go back to doing what we enjoy the most.

      Props to you for enjoying being a best man too, I am due to be one next year (we will see with this current situation) and I am a little nervous I have to admit! I like how you were able to overcome this and I will try to take your advice. Cheers!

  2. I like the clapping out the windows thing. Nice! It’s normal and sensible to have concern for when the next shoe will drop…that’s why there are such sayings. History and the teaching from those before us tell us to be prepared. That’s a positive thing, and I think this is a very positive post.
    When we’re really in trouble is when we think we’re invincible. One of the most positive (in my opinion) things about this pandemic is that it’s bringing understanding that we’re vulnerable and we need each other to survive. And all the privileges we think we have are fleeting, so enjoy them – not in a doomed way, but with a feeling of deep gratitude. I hope we’ll all come out the other side with a lot more appreciation of each other and everything we have.

    1. Totally. We realise how vulnerable we all are, some of my friends with great jobs are struggling now and some high profile names have the virus, it shows no-one is exempt. It does really change my perceptions in life. We are certainly not invincible.

      Thank you for the comments and I too hope we come out the other side with more appreciation πŸ™‚

    1. That is great! I am not sure if this will be a regular thing here, I will have to find out but I hope so. But I am pleased the same kind of appreciation is being seen in Canada and all over the world πŸ™‚

  3. True I also view this virus as like having a WWIII impact with what is still happening everywhere that even big “rich” countries struggle to contain this virus up to now. Really sad & frustrating opening for the year 2020!

    1. Very sad start to the year! But a learning curve. And no country is exempt regardless of wealth, nature clearly doesn’t care too much about that… This is a reminder of nature’s power. Scary!

    1. It is a wartime with a different enemy! And there is always a war somewhere in the world sadly. Glad you liked the post and I agree it is a lovely idea πŸ™‚

  4. Great post! I think we need to see more about positive happenings to help subside what is currently taking place. I look forward to reading more of your posts!

    1. Positive thinking is key!! It helps motivate us and improves our mental health in general. Very well said and thank you so much for reading! πŸ™‚

  5. This is really well written, brings forth various aspects before us, readers. Optimism does wonders indeed! Its quite motivating too…. Very well done, this piece of writing. Looking forward towards to many more…. Do give a read to my latest too! Thankyou

    1. Thank you so much for reading and for the kind feedback. Much appreciated. I hope you are having a great day πŸ˜€

      1. Couldn’t skip reading that! No problem, anytime! having a great one, Stay Safe. Also please do leave your views on my latest! Means much

Leave a Reply