A Strange Paradox


It’s a strange paradox.

Australia is out of toilet paper.

All Italian schools are shut down.

Many countries are entirely sold out of face masks and hand sanitiser.

International events are cancelled.

I have not stockpiled anything. Have never bought hand sanitiser in my life, and haven’t started now. But I am taking it seriously, too, and hope that others are. I have a child and spouse with autoimmune conditions…and a pretty shitty immune system myself. Not panicking. But concerned. And keeping a close eye on the situation.

There are lots folks who are ridiculing and minimising the outbreak.

Yes, most people only get it mildly. But, it is more deadly than flu – about 5 times. But about 5 times less deadly than SARS. And yes, most people who die are elderly or with health complications (but… don’t they matter too?) And yes, seasonal flu kills far more each year. Yes, there’s no need to panic…and it is reassuring to see most public health agencies working hard to inform the public and limit its spread.

What I find interesting is that this virus is making the impossible, possible – changing working, schooling and travel practices that seemed set in stone as “normal” and unquestionable… allowing, suddenly, for alternative ways of doing things… working and learning from home, attending meetings virtually, eliminating unnecessary air travel, quarantined workers mean less factory production, cutting back on social greetings that require performed physical contact. The economy and emissions are shrinking as a natural consequence… it’s like the world is getting more Aspie friendly and environmentally friendly, just like that.

And I wonder, after the virus has died down, if we can continue living in ways that are kinder to human bodyminds and the planet, rather than returning to (destructive) business as usual. I wonder if this could be the wake up call that governments and big business need, that another way is possible…and healthier.

It is not the end of the world…but perhaps, the end of the world as we know it… and that might just be a good thing.

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