THE IDES OF APRIL 2020
When I was a child, I watched many of those ‘black and white’ science fiction movies. The films where the Earth was invaded or conquered by some alien life form. Or destroyed by an unexpected holocaust. In some cases, it was because the planet was ravaged by war and nuclear devastation. While other scenarios presented civilization collapsing from some natural calamity. Such as a large rise in sea level; or a sudden crack that forms in the Earth’s mantle.
Whatever the cause for destruction, any survivors portrayed in those films spoke of life before their disaster as “The Before Time”. To my young mind, it was a telling way to express that their former way of life was gone forever. And I was struck by the feelings of emptiness and loss those words evoked. I couldn’t help wondering if some such a catastrophic event might occur in my lifetime. But I thought it was a fiction which would never happen.
Now I am forced to reexamine this conclusion. For it is becoming more and more evident that our society is undergoing a permanent change. And as our behavior on this planet changes, the Earth will change with it. We may soon look back on our own “Before Time”. Back to a life we will remember well but can never have again. Because the existence of the new virus won’t allow it. For it will change how we view our current lifestyle. And how we value personal space.
Today there are many who do not recognize the current pandemic as a serious threat. Either to humanity or to themselves. But this disease is still young. It is still evolving; and seeking to adapt to it’s environment. Yet each specimen of virus is a separate living thing. It is alive, and driven by DNA to stay that way. We do not know how COVID-19 may mutate, given enough time and opportunity. Nor are we sure how many lives are still in peril from the disease.
However, while disbelief, disinformation, disinterest, and distrust allow people to dismiss this threat; the virus gains time. Time for it to infect more communities. Or time to gain infectious strength as it sickens people within a community. Perhaps even time to mutate and grow more virulent. Thus harder to combat. With enough time, it may learn to jump species again. Which could endanger our zoos or our pets or our food supply. Along with the natural world around us.
Which indicates how much of an affect humanity can have over the course and eventual outcome of this pandemic. COVID-19’s extent of illness, death, and suffering has been; and will continue to be dependent on the extent of human effort to defeat it. The longer it takes for us to subdue this scourge, the greater the chance that the way of life we have known will not return. And we will morn the loss of “The Before Time”.
Be well. Stay safe. Donate blood if you can. Employ physical distance when in public. We only need to separate our bodies, not our minds and spirits. We need each other; to beat this thing. But we have each other. So I suggest we make this disease our highest priority and get rid of it. Before it gets ‘out of hand’.
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J. A. Stubbs, Editor-In-Chief
Forgotten Lore Publishing, llc