Chicago, March 12

Suddenly, reality seems real again.

WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic yesterday. Now, the air is charged with something. To some - heck to a former me - this charge would register as fear and anxiety. But now it registers as life. I am saddened by those who have died. It is tragic. But through this tragedy, things matter again. Things seem possible again. I suppose all it took was March Madness being cancelled to snap us out of the capitalistic reveries of the 21st century.

Hand shakes and hugs are things of a the past. It happened in hours. Last night, I went out for drinks with colleagues and we already knew the avant rituals: fist bumps, elbow taps, and feet slogs.

Iā€™m not on many social networks but the memes are on fire right now.

The car is on fire

And, sorry, this is to apropos to not share. The post office by my studio:

And the flags are all dead at the top of their poles

Other beauties of the zeitgeist:

  1. WHO exists. It has a protocol (declaration of pandemic) that worked. It snapped us into action.
  2. The measures countries, governments, cities, and individuals are taking right now are largely preventative. Social distancing is for the good of the self, yes, but it is largely for the good of the species. Flatten the curve.
  3. The internet has again proven its value in organizing us during crisis.
  4. A non-zero amount people will be pondering their mortality seriously for the first time. Perhaps they will choose to live differently.
  5. A non-zero amount people will be pondering the state of the world seriously for the first time. Perhaps we will choose to live differently.
  6. We have a new paradigm shifting event in time. I would argue the other big ones of the 21st century have been 9/11, The ā€˜08 Crash, The ā€˜16 Election. Events like these are important for cultural and artistic progress.

I feel hope and solidarity with humanity. I believe we will pass through this and be stronger because of it. With any luck, these days may even become a turning point for meaningful change in how we organize our society, the things we value, and the way we are to one another.


Addendum

2007 Ford Mustang GT & McDonalds 2007 Ford Mustang GT & McDonalds

My father-in-law and I went on an adventure today. This is his 2007 Ford Mustang GT outside McDonalds. The cashiers wore different disposable gloves for each transaction. Patrons were still using the touchscreens to order their food. (I paid with Apple Pay.) It is Shamrock Shake season.