In the past few days, or weeks, the world has been a soul sucking place. I could make the argument that it’s like that all the time – but I won’t. With media outlets capitalising on fear, panic, and sheer hysteria, our lives (and especially plans for the year) might seem like they’ve spiralled well out of control.
There are those of us who are struggling to find a job, those of us who are being laid off, those of use who are cancelling important work trips or family holidays, and those of us watching our investments tank and our businesses go bust. And then, there are those who are sick. And some of those people do not have access to healthcare.
It feels like the colours have all turned into shades of grey. Varying levels of hardship. Different intensities to despair. Multiple ways to fall into the arms of hopelessness and get comfortable there.
And yet, the earth continues to turn. We live on. We must.
I’ve never really witnessed this kind of heightened anxiety. I’ve never walked into the shop to discover shelves emptied completely of goods. And that, is knowing that I was in Lebanon in 2006, when Israel bombed us about a decade into the past. And I was in Lebanon in 2014, working in Beirut, when every week a car bomb would go off there.
So, I’ve experienced crisis before – but they hysteria was never quite like this. Even the Lebanese, who’ve become generally blasé in the face of mortal danger, are experiencing panic, and the people have been organising for self-imposed quarantine.
Here in Sydney, I have a roll of toilet paper left in my house. I haven’t been able to secure a pack in two weeks. That is INSANE. It is also hilarious.
Yet, despite the insanity, as I mentioned before, we live on.
And, sometimes, living on is not the easiest thing to do. But we have to. We really don’t have a choice. We’re already here.
As a collective, we don’t know where the world is heading right now. We don’t know when the sun will metaphorically come out again. But we know that it will. And we can bet on that (halal-bet, of course). And while we wait, perhaps we can search for the bizarre, for the hilarious. While we wait, we can lean on each other – and fight comfort there, rather than in hopelessness. Because, comfortable or not, the arms of hopelessness are actually tentacles. And they don’t thermoregulate. And in the southern hemisphere, we are heading into winter. And … you see where I’m going with this.
The point is, don’t despair just yet. There is still time.