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A New Yorker Cartoon, Existentialism and The Absurd

Today I saw a picture of a frog sitting in a sauce pan on a cooker speaking to another, saying “I Know the water is heating up but that’s the next generation’s problem” and this can be a comment on a few things. The first, linear comment is of course about global warming and its consequences for current and future generations. Every generation, we, as children, want to make a better place when we grow up. The realities of adulthood make this more of a challenge than we had anticipated.

The second comment, and the one I leapt to is about the habit of saying “We’re safe, everyone can remove their masks and meet in big groups this summer, before, when winter comes, seeing that there is a huge new wave of Covid cases. In my eyes summer is the best time to work towards Covid Zero and be like most of Asia, New Zealand, and before recent changes, Australia.

The existential part of today’s blog post title comes, from knowing that the pandemic will get much worse again, and that we are windmilling towards another wave. Data I saw today suggests that the next wave is already on its way back. If this is true then self-isolation is not absurd.

In Summer it does feel absurd to self-isolate but at the same time there is evidence that it is not absurd, that it is rational, and normal. Another existential question is whether I want or need friendships anymore. It has been at least five years since I have had any. Any need, or deep desire has been muted years ago. Years ago I cried with pain, due to solitude. Now I think I’m blazé about solitude. I feel that if I wasn’t growing older I would be completely fine with the pandemic solitude I am currently living with, as well as the solitude I felt before the pandemic.

We couldn’t live in self-isolation for two years, going into the third if we were convinced that we needed to have a social life and all that other crap. People will think this is posturing but I’ve been solitary since some of my earliest memories. The pandemic doesn’t help. Neither does job insecurity, and neither does having to drive to see people who will never return the favour.

One of my reasons for not wanting to do things, either alone or with people, is that if you do things with people you need to walk close to other people who are not wearing masks. If you go to walk a mountain path it will be narrow and people will not be masked. If you wear a mask you will looked at as if you were swearing at them whilst playing a bagpipe. You do get strange, disapproving looks when you wear masks.

I don’t mind in the shops when I buy food, but in stairwells and other places it is uncomfortable. This discomfort is the government’s fault, for spreading disinformation about the pandemic being over, when it clearly isn’t.

Trevor Noah was at the correspondent’s dinner two nights ago and called it a super spreader event. This morning I saw multiple reports of people testing positive for covid, and aranet4 readings in the 2000+ range of c02 parts per million. Western countries are constantly selling the lie that the pandemic is over, when all of the data and previous seven waves prove are premature. The Northern Hemisphere should work towards Covid Zero but has chosen covid denialism instead, so the window of opportunity to stop covid before window is being missed. Spring and summer are the ideal opportunity to get to Covid Zero with the lowest social cost.

We have provided the virus with a pilot light of opportunities to spread this summer and we will pay the price in September, yet again.

When I check glocals I see that no events are planned anyway, so i am not missing out at the moment. Those that do sports where groups meet, and use cars, are still self isolating. it is only the alcoholics and others that are meeting and socialising without masks during a pandemic.

And that’s it for today. Less euphoric than sometimes, but this situation induces a level of fatigue that we just have to get used to.

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