Open mic: the world as is

It’s been over a year since I last wrote in this chapter of Measuring Light.

My principal intent when I created The Covid-19 Chronicles was to record the extraordinary times we were going through this side of planet Earth where the pandemic hit first.

I still recall how the rest of the world was basically ignoring the crisis unfolding here.

Then the virus finally hit western civilization. In no time social media was flooded with Covid related material. Fake news, irrelevant posts and videos, all sorts of time wasting rubbish.

That’s when I decided to stop writing about this nonsense, because I did not want to be yet another self-proclaimed, pseudo-opinion maker writing about the pandemic.

And June was the month it all happened.

Time flies and even though it’s cliché I’m going to say it anyway: it feels like yesterday.

And what’s really happening is that albeit the clocks are still ticking, the hearts are still beating and the world is still moving, in reality everything had been turned upside down in a realm commonly referred to as the new normal.

In this realm, food has no taste and flowers have no fragrance. Things take place and materialize with no passion.

It’s like a ship that keeps sailing through the seas, negotiating high and low tides, braking the waves and slicing through the headwind.

But with no clear indication where to sail to.

Instructions given to the captain were simple and straightforward: just keep sailing.

The new normal is, again, a cliché, but a real one nonetheless. Call it whatever we want to call it, it won’t change the fact we have to face it.

Better still, we are condemned to face it until God knows when.

And this is the frustrating part of it all. Because at times we do feel positive, we catch something on news feed that may change our perception of things and we do see light at the end of the tunnel, we do believe things are going to change for the better.

Yet when we are less expecting it, something totally unprecedented takes place and all of a sudden we can only foresee a dark future ahead of us, a tunnel crossing that feels forever, definitely longer than we were expecting.

Sweet Revenge from Ryuichi Sakamoto comes to my mind.

At present we are traversing the sadness and melancholy played by the violin, the piano and the cello.

The relatively slim and knowledgeable violin is muted by a somewhat bulky and unpresentable cello that resonates stronger, while the piano surprisingly plays along the cello with subtle and elegant tones.

The ending part of the song features a piano solo and definitely this is where we want to go — and stay.

There is no clear ending to the piano solo. Graceful notes pinching the air with no stop in view. Not withstanding the fact it fades out slowly, progressively, completely, when the song comes to an end.

But it keeps playing in our subconscious, such is the power of Sakamoto’s musical piece.

We are not at the piano part now. Where exactly this is leading to, the world seems to have no idea. The captain is strictly following the aforementioned instruction until directed otherwise.

I was just exposed to disconcerting news related to the Delta variant. Add to this the persistent quarantine measures and travel restrictions all around the world.

People unable to see their loved ones abroad, keeping an emotionally fragile connection through Zoom and other similar digital means that allow for everything but the most basic human touch.

Vaccine preference, adherence, side effects and effectiveness being questioned on a daily basis.

Expat friends that are leaving this place because they can’t stand this nonsense anymore: they embarked in a journey coming here for better working conditions, they left their birthplace and loved ones for a noble intent, but not being able to take short brakes home was definitely not part of the plan.

And humanely unacceptable.

It feels everything but encouraging and, in short, what launched me to write such somber prose today.

This is 2021 in a nutshell.

What else is yet to come, how long till we get to the end of this.

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