I hope you didn’t book two weeks on the cheap in Spain to soothe your furrowed post lockdown brow and then decided to go to the press to deliver a sob story about the re-imposition of self quarantining when you got back. That would make you very silly indeed. You can’t take one risk without facing the possibility of another. I’m sure lots of people fancy a break but if there’s one year when you could have given it a rest then this would be the one. Can some people really not see the extent of the situation? Do we have to have a second or third wave of this shit to convince people that it’s not over? Ah well, if your holiday in the sun has just been ruined then some teardrops may fall, but they won’t be mine. You take the gamble and the gamble might give you a nasty pinch, but if you couldn’t see that coming then you’re a touch more stupid than you let on.
All that is already old news as the next blip canters over the horizon and by some kind of coincidence I have decided to bury myself into ‘The Walking Dead’, a long running show that somehow seems a bit more relevant these days. I wonder how many scientific steps there are, in theory, from Covid 19 to a virus that reignites the lazier parts of the brain and turns us into greedy, pointless morons with no remaining interest in the wellbeing of humanity. Oh, hold on. Given the choice of wandering through the kind of world depicted in ‘The Walking Dead’ and taking a bullet early I’d go for the latter any day. Some of us have had too much of the good stuff to bear thinking about having it all taken away only to live what’s left on the edge of our nerves. Besides, I’m not great with survival skills.
In the event of something truly threatening to wipe out humanity we’d be in all kinds of a pickle and ‘The Walking Dead’ gives a pretty good idea of what some of those pickles might look like. Small groups of humans bond together uneasily and are then pitted against the next groups of humans so that each group have to fight wars on an ever increasing number of fronts meaning the last fragments of our species are diluted out into a thin gruel of desperate existence where there wouldn’t even be ‘Loose Women’ left around to sort it all out. It is, I imagine, highly unlikely that such a premise would be set up because of some zombie outbreak, but your imagination doesn’t have to flap too far from the nest to find a nearby scenario that is all too plausible, with just a few tweaks here and there.
And come whatever near apocalyptic event may be, there is only one thing that can be guaranteed – we will splinter and fracture to a degree that we’ve never seen before and as neighbour is pitted against neighbour (though in some cases that might not need a near apocalyptic event) the strong and the weak will learn to question the very reason for the existence of the other. In one respect I find it all quite comforting though, thinking about the issues we won’t need to waste time thinking about anymore. We’ll stop giving a shit about The Kardashians. We won’t care about the fragile mental state of one pop star or another. The trials and tribulations of Kerry Katona’s underwear will suddenly seem of even less value than before. People will magically stop worrying about holidays altogether and will switch the energy of the greatest tool they’ll ever have to the more urgent recreation of survival in the best sense that they can muster. This will be the great leveller, and though I hope it never comes I would also hope that anyone sitting on a beach and worried that they won’t get paid for two weeks when they get back could push themselves to imagine something much, much worse. One could argue we’ve always been the walking dead, but now we seem even deader than ever. Next one will be a bit……brighter, promise.
G B Hewitt. 28.07.2020