“In the past four weeks, did you think you would be better off dead, or wish you were dead?”
This is a question posed to Australian youngsters recently as part of an investigation into the effects of a global pandemic on those who are just now trying to pull together the threads of a life that has been disrupted and which may never enjoy the opportunity to flourish and bloom in the same way as previous recent generations have. The report is “Generation COVID” – an Australian ABC News investigation – which provides the broader story and also contains the video embedded below.
It is worrying that over 40% of respondents answered that question in the affirmative. Mental health issues are on the rise in modern societies, coincident with the not yet fully realised legacy of permanernt health damage to much more than just human lungs that COVID-19 has brought with it.
People are aching to ‘get back to normal’. To life as it was before 2020 began. I’m afraid there is no good news for them. No matter what happens now, that ‘normal’ is gone forever …and that means disaster. Personal disaster. Family disaster. Community disaster. Business disaster. National disaster. Shattered dreams. Plans dashed to ruin. Personal hopes lost. A generation of unrealised potential. Perhaps many such generations.
I think no-one really understands yet exactly what that means. It will not do any good for me to try to explain what it means. I don’t know (I used to think I did) exactly what that means. But what I think it means is quite indescribable in any way that would be palatable in an open public forum. It is a tale of carnage and chaos, let me just say that. A tale of lost hope. A tale of desperation. And we have even seen signs of the beginning of that desperation with people in the recently imposed COVID lockdown areas of Victoria, attempting to change their driver license home address to help them escape those areas. It will also be a tale of tragedy. A tale of necessary tragedy, on the scope of which I am not prepared to speculate.
And that is only the beginning.
On top of all this health related mayhem, wherever that may take us (and that is still an unknown), there is also to come the broader collapse, inevitable in the situation we face, of national economies – not just locally, but globally. At least among the more developed Western nations who have further to fall than others and a much less reliable basis of finance through reliance on the US dollar – which must surely slide to junk status as that nation is found to be unable to pay the unmanageable debts which annually come due, by simply raising more debt, as a failure of trust emerges among potential buyers.
On top of that there will also be the collapse of transport and the movement of goods, and in particular food – the production of which, on an industrial level, will cease altogether. Imagine, if you will, what happens shortly after that.
On top of that, the changing climate will not be taking a break in its march towards an unlivable world. Even now, the burden of rebuilding climate destroyed infrastructure (including people’s homes) is proving an impossibility. What happens this year? next year? The year after that? All these things will bring about a mass movement of people seeking some place to dwell that is not so troubled as the place they just left – and on a global scale. Moving mostly on foot or in people or wind powered boats.
On top of that, almost inevitably at some stage, war or conflict at some level will break out – given all of the military armaments scattered and abandoned around the world – which will lead to who knows what.
It is not a pretty picture and many, many, many, will not live to see it end, or an end to all those things. That may take several generations to fully complete or it could all go up, in a few mushroom shaped clouds, quite quickly.
There are other things that don’t bear mentioning here.
And what will be left? Who will remain standing? And what will our beautiful world look like then?
Do you see an alternative? I’d say you are dreaming.
Oh dear. I seem to have done what I said I wouldn’t do. But maybe these things need to be said. And this has been merely a bare outline. Much more that is really unpalatable – given what we know people are capable of – could have been said. You must use your imagination. And you must prepare as best you can to avoid the worst of what is to come, if you can. I can offer no further advice, nor any assurance of personal wellbeing for anyone, including myself.