Surviving coronavirus: Bravery, health, and strength
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Be Brave. Good Health. Stay Strong. These three (albeit optimistic) convictions grace childlike artwork pinned to an overturned wooden cable spool in an Albuquerque neighborhood near the University of New Mexico. As coronavirus spreads, a yard full of art reminds us to keep our convictions.
Big Tech’s version of cable no longer signals a 5G future filled with exuberant STEAM lesson plans guaranteeing a creative class career. Coronavirus has frozen the future in time, requiring repurposed cable spools as tables, with the cable itself used to rig some backyard makeshift permaculture system, at best.
Artwork expresses much more than our irrelevant textbooks and quickly outdated news reports. While stocking up on beans and rice is essential, bravery, health, and strength is more essential in the sink or swim chance environment of COVID-19 contagion. This is a viral contagion that, in addition to its disconcerting capacity to mutate, can also ostensibly live much longer than three days on surfaces. Cruise ships have incubated viral traces living up to 17 days: how’s that for an epidemiological learning curve?
It’s fortunate schools are closed: what can teachers tell students? Fearful and grumpy, from pre-K to college, they miss their friends desperately, hopefully shuttered in the home their parents secured for the family before the virus hit hard. Homeless students didn’t fare that well in this high-stakes game of life they are learning about too young.
Far from Big Tech’s imposter educated-class vision of a transhumanist egalitarian future with optimized minds delivered by Artificial Intelligence/Big Data, even if your gifted children are quarantined for their own protection, viral contagion of pandemic proportions is not the future trans-humanists plan for.
Hiveminds be damned, the children are still going to sit in parks and hold hands!
At least big boxes like Walmart and Amazon are mass hiring for warehouse work. You might find work making ventilators and masks at one of the repurposed factories. Or you can help innovate the 3-D-printed kind.
Commissary-style prices are looking quite attractive to big-box retailers, as usually spoiled companies adjust profit margin expectations, since prisoner releases will make it harder to price gouge prison commissaries anyway. Healthcare workers, too, are paying dearly, some with their lives.
The global COVID-19 toll surges upwards toward half a million official cases; the line between death and life blurs depending on your chance lot. Whether grave illness, layoff stress, or rent relief describes your days better, life has changed, and uncertainty abounds, especially regarding the newly reconfigured social sphere.
The stock market is trying something new by surging upwards, just as news of a $2 trillion bailout has arrived at a pandemic near everyone. New York state’s cases double every three days, possibly leaving Wall Street rather empty with no one left to ring that opening bell.
COVID-19’s dramatic and tragic spreading has fingers pointing in all directions: plenty of culprits to blame. Death kindly stops for too many, and Trump-era deregulation appears to be curtailed momentarily, but its effects are everywhere when you look closer.
For example, nuclear weapons make the list of essential businesses to remain open, while some nuclear industry employees are encouraged to work from home if possible.
COVID-19 takes no hostages. Many lessons are lost. Setting better priorities and being better prepared for next time or taking time to stop and smell the flowers are quaint lessons from already bygone days that seem more indulgent than the new realities suddenly thrust on everyone living and breathing.
The virus lives longer and spreads faster, winning the race against our now humbled science. Real-time, tech-savvy data on Twitter can update the most well-intentioned graphic renderings, but neighborhood artwork, guided by children, is our real-time information, emerging from imaginations with more time on their hands than ever, but with less certainty than we could have ever imagined.
Adult reality consoles little, with little to show but a nightmare in exchange for all our hard work.
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