Thoughts on the pandemic, an excerpt.
It’s been a long few years.
Who would’ve thought
we would make it this far?
We faced the pandemic
by suspending our ways of life;
we stayed apart to stay healthy,
and yet here we are
in perpetual limbo as the virus
mutates, spreads, endures.
It is all around us now, as we begrudgingly,
awkwardly stumble into the new normal.
It should have uprooted all our lives
in ways unimaginable;
the numbers, in the millions, don’t lie.
It should have stopped our so-called progress in its tracks,
our developments, our treaties, our movements,
leaving us broke, unequal, divided.
It should have been a tsunami of consequences,
coming for all our unprepared cities and governments.
It should have crushed our economies and our dreams
for a better future.
Somehow, it didn’t quite.
We persevered, relatively and collectively speaking.
It could also have been a wake-up call.
But it wasn’t.
As the world slowly goes back to normal —
people flying, strangers gathering, friends hugging —
I wonder: what did we miss?
It should have exposed our vulnerabilities:
climate change, inequality, capitalism, racism.
It should have unearthed our flaws,
how we lack in preparing for crises to come.
It should have shone light into our darkest corners,
where all sorts of wars are raged in the name of ego.
It should have maneuvered our path
along a sustainable, wholesome direction.
It should have triggered all our instincts,
opened our eyes to the harsh realities of our world.
It should have encouraged — if not forced — us to collaborate,
to provoke hindsight, to anticipate.
It really should have.
I’m afraid that we lost
What else do we — would we — suffer together at this scale,
in space and time and emotion?
Instead of action,
we dug in to our status quo
and clawed our way back to a broken system;
back to worshipping business-as-usual
with smiles on our faces,
even as wave after wave after wave
came crashing through our borders,
hitching rides on our planes,
like airborne wildfire.
So here we are,
trying to thrive.
It is exhausting to question
why—and why not.
It could easily have been hopeful catastrophe!
What would it take for us to change?