COVID19 continues to roll out and over countries across the globe. The pandemic of this novel coronavirus is affecting human beings everywhere. Older people are in fear for their lives and thousands are dead or dying. Australia is facing the largest levels of unemployment in more than 80 years. Lines of desperate people snake outside the doors of Centrelink offices and down streets, as they wait their turn to get welfare. Businesses have been forced to close their doors, including gyms, pubs, cafes, libraries, cinemas, clubs and restaurants. Tens of thousands of casual staff have been let go with immediate effect. The world is suddenly a very different place. We are all being dispensed with our daily dose of the virus news, which is in fact updating hourly.
The Speed of the Coronavirus Crisis is Dizzying
Australia’s dependence upon tourism has rudely bumped into closed doors and borders, with international and domestic travel effectively curtailed. Airlines like Qantas and Virgin have laid off the majority of their employees. Local tourism operators and businesses are going bust, following a wretched summer of record setting bushfires engulfing parts of this continent. Governments at federal and state levels are rolling out financial rescue packages but things are already behind the eight ball in terms of timing to save these failing entities. The speed of this crisis and its impact upon peoples’ lives is dizzying in its intensity.
Zombies & Viruses
I am reminded of all those movies about zombies and viruses, which have featured prominently at our cinemas over the last decades. I recommend that we all watch these films again to glean ideas for our present situation. Face masks, men and women in white coats, hand sanitiser protocols being spread left, right and centre – these are the new daily trends on display. Stock markets have been stripped of hundreds of billions of dollars across the globe. Nations, like Australia, are being revealed to be extremely economically vulnerable to global shutdowns. Countries that do not manufacture anything and import lots from China are struggling to maintain themselves and their industries.
Our leaders are putting on brave faces and exhibiting greater levels of caring than I thought previously possible. PM Scott Morrison has called upon the ANZAC spirit to help us cope with the onslaught of this pandemic. They have cancelled the football codes for god’s sake, what will this sport’s mad culture do with itself? Social dislocation is imminent, as jobs disappear and recreational pursuits are banned due to social distancing policies. Australians are being asked to stay at home and not socialise with anyone outside their direct family. I predict that relationships will soon be under strain with increased familiarity breeding contempt.
When schools begin to close, we will really see the signs of intimate relationships buckling under the increased pressure. Luckily the modern generations of children are obsessed with their phones and devices. They will be able to put their heads even further down and immerse themselves in the digital realm upon their screens. The coronavirus pandemic will be a boon for the internet and the world wide web. People looking for distractions will embrace social media and online activities even more. Online learning from schools and universities will go to another level. Gyms will be running fitness classes via things like Skype and the like.
Some commentators have warned of the negative effects of social isolation but I see this coronavirus episode as a consolidation of where we have already been heading. The virtual world and its viruses are much safer than the biological rendition of the same. Your daily dose of the virus is corralling us away from fleshly pursuits and into pixels, bytes and well-lit screens.