Time, emptiness and togetherness are some of the things that we seem to be collectively experiencing at this strange time. Everyone knows what this is because everyone’s experiencing it. Everyone has found themselves in a position where they have more time and they’re not sure how exactly to fill it productively. And I’m no exception. So, I’ve found myself pondering how and what I can contribute positively and constructively to the internet, which today has created what can only be called a community, in the strongest sense of the word.
This seemingly utopian world which we currently inhabit seems comparable perhaps only to wartime, yet paradoxically we’re experiencing peacetime in what’s possibly its purest form. Because this represents the first time in living history in which every country, every government and, ultimately, every individual, has the same goal. The UK’s prime minister has, quite literally, been on the brink of death and all of a sudden, political views are put to one side, because the virus isn’t prejudiced, and politics in their usual form seem somewhat indulgent when human life is at risk. Right now, the only politics that matter are the ones which determine how exactly the world should be run in order to most effectively control the spread. Brexit seems like a drop in the ocean because all of a sudden, the prospect of distancing ourselves from countries with which we need to be in solidarity with seems counterproductive. What this virus has painfully revealed is that as humans, we’re all vulnerable, irrespective of age, gender, race or political disposition, and this has fostered a sense of support that has perhaps blurred socio-political boundaries more than ever. Our sense of togetherness is as paradoxical as the title of this article is oxymoronic; we are more physically distanced than ever, yet the feeling of unity is palpable. The irony? We’ve never been deprived of physical contact, yet it’s only when social distancing has become essential that we’ve realised how physical contact never made us feel as united as we do now. Obviously, no one could’ve predicted this; these are, to employ a rather over-used term, unprecedented times. But we have nonetheless learnt more about our identity as a nation, and the way that that fits in with the rest of the world, than ever before.
We’ve never been deprived of physical contact, yet it’s only when social distancing has become essential that we’ve realised how physical contact never made us feel as united as we do now.
Our ‘enemy’ is a virus that, despite all the technology that the 21st century has brought, has well and truly beaten us. It’s invisible but it’s intelligent enough to have left the world reeling, both health-wise and economy-wise. However, it has brought out a side to humanity that’s refreshing. Because no one is a stranger to Coronavirus, so why should we treat others as strangers? If everyone is experiencing the same thing then, for the first time possibly ever, we all have common ground. Facing adversity has become a national effort, maybe even a global one. Money has taken on a new meaning, because suddenly we’re unable to consume in the ways that we usually could, and we’re being reminded of the people who keep society afloat and give it some semblance of normality. We’re realising that modern life has made us forget about what it really is that’s important in life: humanity and our ability to communicate as a society.
If everyone is experiencing the same thing then, for the first time possibly ever, we all have common ground.
We’ve got a renewed sense of what ‘fair’ actually means because nothing is ‘fair’ about this virus. It has recalibrated our sense of fulfilment and has forced us to re-adapt – made us stop and think about what really matters to us. And so, we sit and wait, to see how exactly this enemy will be written into our history books.
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