Can We Survive 2020?

In short, no.

But in a much grander sense: of course we will. To many of us. 2019 felt like an amusment park log ride that broke halfway down the waterfall. We are staring down into the watery abyss, in a form of terrified stasis, knowing things could get worse, but praying them don’t.

2020 is us crashing headlong into the bottom. Things are bad. People are worse. There are so many things that seem to be going wrong at the same time that it’s difficult to unravel everything without losing your mind and falling down a trap door of conspiracy theories, sadness, and anger.

But here we stand, less than a quarter of the way into 2020, with it already having been the longest year in memory. Everything slowly falling apart at our toes. Entire generations standing up in the face of the darkness and trying to be a shining light, only to be swallowed whole like a Sarlaac pit. People coming together in ways we haven’t seen since World War II to help their fellow man, to be a lending hand, only for that hand to be attached to a Hazmat suit, and our fellow man being pulled up and thrown into quarantine.

How did we get here? Where are we going, and most importantly, can any of us survive 2020?

“It’s all just the media trying to freak you out. It’s no worse than the cold.”

No doubt you saw some version of this in January and February on whatever form of social media you really shouldn’t be getting your news from. Usually this was being said by someone you wouldn’t trust to give you directions on how to cross the street, let alone give you advice on disease control. And there, my friends, lies the problem with 2020 in general.

Everyone has decided they are smart enough about everything that they feel the urge to give advice about things they have no business giving advice about.

If you are reading this, and you have spent your entire life playing a musical instrument, then give advice about that musical instrument. DON’T. GIVE. ADVICE. ABOUT. THINGS. YOU. DON’T. KNOW. JACK. SHIT. ABOUT. All you are doing is creating hive mind thought process among other people who have no goddamn clue what they are talking about! That is part of the reason the Coronvirus spread like it did. Too many people didn’t listen to the WHO and CDC and went online to talk to other idiots about how smart people were the dumb ones.

THAT IS HOW THE ANTI-VAXXER MOVEMENT STARTED, YOU FUCKING IDIOTS!

Very few things make me as mad as when morons go against scientists. While you were trying to create a gravity bong and impregnating the first girl who said you did a sweet ollie at the skate park, these people were going to college to be….SCIENTISTS. Literal scientists. While you were sitting around playing video games all day before going to your job at TGI Fridays, these people WERE GOING TO COLLEGE TO BE SCIENTISTS! While you were doing literally anything else, these people were staring into petri dishes and learning how the actual act of life works!

Now, those same idiots are the ones looking for handouts in these trying times. They are the ones most affected by business shut downs. Some have quietly deleted old posts, hoping us sane people forget. I have a long memory, and some of you guys need a baseball bat to the knee cap.

Even if we remove social media from the landscape, we are engulfed by the political flames that rage out of Washington. The Democrats crying for more transparency, the Republicans saying that the old should be willing to die as a form of sacrifice. Neither doing what is best for this country.

What is best for this country?

Some days, I look online, I read the news, and I think the world should just probably die as the sun crashes into it, sending the entire world into oblivion.

Some days, I detach, take stock of what is important to me, and reassert my faith in humanity.

You never really know why people do the things they do. I write to help myself get the thoughts out of my head and into the ether. If nobody ever read me (kind of like on Westlawn) I’d still write. I have reasons to do what I do. I lash out. I misdirect anger. I don’t always respect those around me in a way that they most deserve. I honestly do it because I’m scared. Deep down, I’m still the kid who got left out a lot growing up. Was never really popular. Didn’t get to experience a lot of the things that other kids did.

I’m always chasing down that acceptance. With my writing, I’m trying to accept myself.

I don’t expect everyone to understand what I do on a day to day basis. I can assure you I’m not asking for sympathy. My thoughts are my own. My problems as well. If this piece feels scattered, that’s because it is. If this piece goes off on wild tangents, it’s because that is what I do. It’s not all that easy thinking with my brain. Some days are hazy. Some days are lucid. Some days I feel like the room I’m in is filling with sand and I’m too paralyzed to stop it.

But I keep going. That’s what I do. It’s what I was taught to do. You can’t stay down. We, as America and the World, can’t stay down. We must keep moving forward and trying our best to help ourselves and each other. The industries can drop. Stocks crash. Jobs go away. But if we keep moving forward, if we keep pushing and helping and trying, then we can keep evolving as a society. Maybe we grew too fast. Maybe what we are seeing is a regression to the mean. Maybe it’s overblown. Who knows? No matter what, though, we are all in this together.

People are scared right now. The ones willing to admit they are, are the ones that I trust the most. It’s okay to be scared during these times. It’s okay to be angry during these times. But never let the fear direct the anger. Never become a shell of yourself because you feel like the walls you put up aren’t enough. Never regress to a point where you don’t take into account the people around you and the rest of society.

It’s okay to be mad, it really is. Something about this entire thing makes me mad EVERY DAY. Whether it is something stupid a family member posts online, or something insanely dumb a politician says. It’s okay. But harness that anger. Turn it into something positive. Even the stupidest thing could make you relax. I’ve turned to gardening. Honestly. I’m growing rare hot peppers because….it’s a thing that isn’t about being mad all the time. It’s about patience. It’s about the process. It’s about the feeling you get when you start to see sprouts and know that you actually did it right. It’s the frustration of knowing that you did some things wrong, causing other seeds not to grow. It’s the learning. Planting is flat out base line, first grade learning. Remember when we all grew lima beans on the window sill in a wet paper towel?

Maybe that’s what we need, though. Whether it’s reading, collecting, whatever. Just a thing to find some level of normality to what is obviously not normal times. Maybe we all need to step back and find our garden.

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