THE BIG SLEEP

A ghost town in the covid-19 global pandemic shutdown.

For many of us, the global pandemic and shutdown we are all facing, may be perceived in our imagination as a form of living death. Experiencing a wide-awake dreamlike state of nothingness, we are isolated, with very little social interaction and external activities. Stepping out for a brief physical exercise walking, there was not a single soul to be seen in the ghost town. The strange silent eerie atmosphere, proved to be frightening for the faint hearted. The deep heavy slumber completed a full cycle, and is continuing for over two years. Very little light to the end of this darkness, it is not yet completely over.

In the epic poem ‘Paradise Lost’ by John Milton, ‘Pandemonium’ is the state and capital centre of hell. Originating from Greek, the meaning of the word is, “all in the spirit of the demon.” In our case, hell is in the mind, and the demons are those which are personal. If the news reports and social media are to be believed, Pandemonium is exactly what the worlds have become on a global scale.

The majority of governments everywhere were stunned and overwhelmed. In panic and wild confusion, they were shocked into an uproar of headless unbelief. The global populations were placed in total lockdown, suddenly the world came to an abrupt full stop. While the virus Covid–19 rapid spread enveloped the entire planet. The number of deaths quickly rose to millions and rising, the numbers infected were much greater.

I am a member of DRC – Deep Routes Collective, a cultural and social awareness writing group. I agreed to write this piece on behalf of the collective exploring personal thoughts and feelings during the lockdown. This post is in fact, a collaboration and group effort representing a collective mindset. I am simply the narrator of our coping experiences during the long-extended shutdown. Talking together, we discovered many things in common, with similar attitudes and past activities. In general, there are no areas of human living that remain untouched by the effects of this pandemic. We have all experienced it in our own unique individual way. Unprecedented situations and circumstances, reveal the best and worst in all of us. What individuals experience on a personal level must be the most profound.

For us in the collective many things came to the fore, one world cultures and our place within it, social living, new forms of governance, relationships of all types, the new era of enlightenment, prophecies about the times we are living in, conspiracy theories, death, all things spiritual and so many more. DRC writing group will not make any attempts or suggest, what your deep inner emotions and experiential feelings may have been during the lockdown. For the members of the writing collective, it was a long period of introspection, a time when we all slowed down and took stock of everything.

Many of us returned to our childhood memories, analysing, looking for truths and more meanings, things that have shaped our outlook, perceptions and worldview. In the mode of reflections, what was really valued and important in our life came into view and was recognized. Some of us touched base with families, relatives and friends, many we have not seen or being in contact for decades. They were all beautiful reunions.

Before this pandemic becomes a distant memory and is relegated to the annals of history, then back to business as usual. It is worth mentioning some lessons that may be learnt from the dramatic series of events in the Covid–19 attacks and germ warfare. It will not be a difficult task to quantify the successes and failures in the emergency responses of every country. The consequences of the pandemic may not be easy to find and rectify, especially in poor countries without good governance. The lessons to be learnt by all governments are also about the one world reality, their responsibilities of the facts as they relate to inter-dependency and co-operation in all areas of civic life, is vast and far reaching.

However, the human experiences and mental strain in the long period of isolation and the effects of solitude, is the main focus this post is attempting to highlight. Can we return to the way we were before the pandemic, have we arrived at some concrete truths and realities during that period of time, are we more enlightened, are we more aware of others living on the planet in their separate worlds? Through new technology, we are very happy about the various ways in which we are connected and can relate. For many of us the only means of communication with the worlds outside, were through hand-held machines, what about people not connected to the internet?.

Fear ran riot, conspiracy theories dominated social media, fanatics found new scenarios for the end of the world. Outside of the emergency medical responses, algorithms, biometrics and robotics were the management tools in technologically advanced societies and countries. Among the doom, gloom and huge negatives, there are many positives. As an effect from the human shutdown and inactivity, nature began to heal the planet. Rivers and oceans were being purified, in what scientists say is a very short time span. The eco-warriors were all overjoyed by the reported facts. The saying “in every dark cloud there is a silver lining” could be true, if only we are able to look carefully in oder to find it. DRC – Deep Routes Collective.