Thoughts on C19: Are we in this together— or not?

Something I’ve noticed during C19 is how difficult it is to put yourself in the shoes of others.

Ironically, when something hits us globally it’s really, REALLY hard to think globally.

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We’re all in this together.

But also.

We’re not.

Each of us is experiencing the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns as individuals.

Our worlds have contracted and expanded. Concurrently.

Together and apart.

At the same time.

Life’s great paradox.

It’s always been this way. Since humankind first drew breath.

We are living.

We are dying.

We are joyful.

We are suffering.

We are inextricably connected.

And yet we’re each having a unique experience; interpreting life through a personal lens.

There’s a universe inside the skull of every sentient being.

Even your cat is experiencing (and more importantly interpreting) life differently than you.

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The impact of the virus and the impact of the lockdowns has affected millions of people — in myriad ways.

Some of it has been positive.

Much has been devastating.

Tolstoy once said, ‘All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way’.

This, of course, extends to nations as much as to families and individuals.

Everyone encounters their own struggles, challenges and anguish. Some of it is public. Most of it is private—held deep within our oceanic psyches. It’s impossible to grasp the enormity of this. The depth and detail of it. Futile and supercilious to claim that anyone can speak for everyone.

This inability to speak for everyone, to be sensitive to everyone’s unique situation and personal despair, can be paralysing. Especially for those us with public platforms such as blogs and podcasts.

In particular, fear of offending as well as fear of appearing insensitive, runs deep in contemporary society.

I do not speak for everyone. I do not even pretend to understand the implications, both short term and long term, of C19.

I suspect no one does.

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When we turn to the media, we see that everyone from politicians to medical personnel to sporting officials to mining magnates, economists and journalists is scrambling for answers.

Many are scrambling to be seen as experts. To have their views extolled at the ‘truth’.

But despite their impressive qualifications or the labels they flaunt or the pins they stick in their lapels, they are all simply people. They’re all making it up as they go along. With the advice of others—who are also making it up as they go along.

And so on into infinity.

People are not in control. They (we) never have been.

And that’s what scares us the most.

That’s what makes us behave in complex, contradictory and seemingly inexplicable ways.

Likewise, learning to accept that we are not in control— to even be at peace with this— is one of our most daunting challenges.

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But of course, this is only my opinion.

It’s how I choose to interpret life.

You, dear reader, will have your own view.

And that’s just as it should be.

Until next time

stay safe, stay well and stay connected.

With love

Jen xo


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