Now in the eighth month of the pandemic - locking down, socially distancing, wearing masks, using sanitiser as if it is going out of date - I wonder how close to a dystopian fiction our lives have now become?
In which reality could we have imagined it would be a criminal offence to meet family and friends in our own houses or gardens? What vile world would possibly allow hospitals to ban visitors, expectant fathers, even a partner to hold your hand as you die. Which regime would force us to cancel urgent operations or cancer care or abandon elderly relatives to care homes deprived of seeing their loved ones face-to-face or encourage neighbours to snitch on others when breaking the rules? Surely it is only a far-fetched fictional government who would insist contact with other humans should be limited if not prohibited. Only an imaginary iron rule would enforce all the regulations with an accompanying threat of imminent death and destruction, striking fear into every heart.
I guess only a worldwide pandemic could turn out normal lives into this far-fetched apocalyptic scenario. Covid-19. It has brought dystopia from the pages of a book to a fearsome reality.
Whilst I fully accept the measures being put into place are a means to an end; a necessity in order to lower the rates of infection rates, I hate that normal human behaviour has become criminalised and people are not just living in fear, but many of them poleaxed by dread and trepidation. It worries me there seems little balance with Coronavirus becoming the only newsworthy item, the only medical condition of note and the prevailing concern overriding all others.
So, please stay safe and stay sane. Families do still matter; other health issues are important and try to create as much ‘normality’ as you can despite the situation. Roll on the new vaccines so we can banish this frightening world to the pages of fiction in the future and get back to being fully human and free.