In my head, the world has changed. I am not living on the same planet that I was even six months ago. Everything feels and looks different – and not in a good way. And I have recognised that I am grieving; even typing this threatens to painfully drag the deeply buried tears up through my chest, in their desperation to cascade bitterly down my cheeks – and I don’t want them to. I really can’t afford to open that dam.
I’m afraid. No, not afraid – terrified. And I feel sick, and hopeless and helpless – as do billions of other human souls right now. However, we are not all on the same page, we are not viewing life through the same filters, and we are not all plagued by the same things. We do have a number of things in common, though: we are all scared, we all feel vulnerable, we all feel challenged – and we all feel alone…. because we have become hugely divided, in a way that may never be repaired.
My fears may not be yours. I am making no political statements here, or trying to persuade others to see things my way. I am talking purely about the mental and emotional impact that the current situation we all find ourselves in is having upon us. I need to tell my own story so that you have an idea of what motivated me to write this blog post – whilst assuring you that I am not attempting to inflict my beliefs upon others or incite arguments. I’ve had enough of those.
What I fear right now is that the world that my children and their children will be living in will be devoid of the (relative) freedom that I myself have benefitted from throughout my 63 years. I fear that we have all been played like fiddles, and that we walked into it like lambs to the slaughter. I fear that huge numbers of my fellow human beings can’t see it, and will never see it until it is too late. I fear for those who have decided, after much consideration, not to accept any of the available vaccines – because I can see how viciously they are being marginalised and blamed – and how it has divided society in the cruellest way. I fear for certain countries around the world, grieving over the maltreatment of their citizens. I fear the ‘super-rich’, with their corrupt, grubby fingers in all of our pies, and their secret meetings, and their shifty, background activity, and their (denied) involvement in this whole sorry mess. I fear the misinformation we continue to be fed, leading us into an inescapable hall of mirrors. And I fear being ignorant, uninformed, not knowing or understanding enough – because, as they say, knowledge is power… which is what has led me to obsessively scour the internet, day after day, seeking new information, comparing stories, checking sources and facts, listening to the broadest spectrum of speakers, digging deep behind all manner of claims, censorship, and discreditation. I fear letting go and sinking into compliance, viewing it as a form of living death. I fear the nameless, faceless, hypnotised masses that I rage at in my mind – people who don’t actually exist but who represent everything that I believe is so wrong and dangerous about our current, global situation. I fear the next few months (Winter in the UK) because who knows what they’re going to impose upon us? All of this fear has caused me to become internally immobilised – whilst appearing to carry on in a ‘normal’ way in the outside world. But it has affected my work. This is the first thing I have written in weeks and weeks (apart from social media posts, and writing heated responses to critics of some of my posts!), because I couldn’t muster the will or the desire. I haven’t worked on my new book for months, and I have let my website slide. Why? Because I became stuck in the dark cloud of “what’s the point?” My outlet has been attending kickboxing classes and going out on our motorcycle trike. And I have laughed, and even briefly forgotten about the s**t show, whilst doing fitness, and kicking and punching (I even got my black/white belt recently, leaving me only nine months away from black belt!), or whilst camping out at a couple of motorbike rallies (where it felt as if covid 19 hadn’t ever existed) – but it’s always there, waiting in the wings, to take its insidious place on the stage of life.
Having said all of that, I do consider myself very lucky. I, and those I care about, have been able to enjoy summer with relative freedom, apart from being required to wear a mask in certain places. Others in the world have definitely not fared so well – and I have been very aware of those, and the misery that they must be experiencing. After all, they are people, just like me. However, I know that it is only a matter of time before we too are plunged back into constant reports of infection, death, overwhelmed hospitals, and stories of horror and loss. The problem is, I don’t trust ‘them’ – and to be forced into compliance on the basis of manipulated figures is abhorrent to me. I want to be wrong; you have no idea how much I do. But now it seems that there is no one to trust, and the world feels completely unsafe – which is the same fear that is motivating every one of us – albeit for different reasons.
Many people are horribly afraid of developing covid and of dying. I don’t know why, but I myself am far more afraid of authoritarianism – and we don’t understand each others’ point of view, so we fall out, sometimes quite bitterly. I don’t speak much to my partner about my feelings because he can’t handle it. I have tried, but when I see his face closing and hear him sighing, I know that it is pointless to continue. He doesn’t refute what I am saying, though at first he did think that it was all ‘conspiracy theorist’ stuff (the immediate go-to for those who want to shut others down, without having heard anything they have to say). Over time, though, he has recognised that many things don’t add up after all… but he doesn’t know what to do with that knowledge. As he says, “I’m just a nobody, what can I do about any of it?” And I absolutely understand his feelings. He and I are very different people and maybe (no, definitely) it is a good thing that we can’t discuss the subject – because otherwise that might be all we discuss… which wouldn’t be healthy for either of us! Nevertheless, it sometimes feels as if I am living a double life, with a huge discrepancy between my inner and outer worlds. Luckily, I have my youngest daughter to share my fears with, someone who feels exactly the same way that I do. Incredibly well-read, with a keen interest in Russian, Chinese, and German history, the warning bells started ringing for her even before they did for me. And, at the age of 28, she cannot look to her future with any hope or enthusiasm. As you can clearly tell, we aren’t cut from the cloth of “well, it may never happen, so why worry?”! Neither of us are capable of just letting go and accepting what is presented to us – something I consider to be a gift and a curse.
It’s the awful mix of sadness and anger that is so hard to bear. I don’t want to be furious with people – but I am, which makes me sad. When I think about all of those who died without being allowed to have their loved ones with them, I want to sob and sob. And I want to punch and hit and kick those who decided that that was acceptable. It can never, ever be put right. Heartbroken souls are living with the knowledge that not only could they not see their sick loved ones, they couldn’t even be there to say goodbye (here comes the push from those tears again) – because someone else said so. And many will disagree, of course, but my pain comes from my own belief that that wasn’t necessary – that it served no purpose. And that makes me so angry I almost can’t breathe. Out of everything that has occurred throughout this pandemic, that has to be the cruellest and most unforgivable imposition.
In terms of anger, I have had to question myself. It isn’t that I just want everyone to agree with me – but I do want everyone to question more, rather than just accept and comply. And I know that just because I want something it doesn’t mean that I will or should get it. I cannot come to terms with the fact that we have sacrificed far, far more than we’ve gained, as a result of what we’ve been told is ‘good’ for us. It seems an unreasonable and unnecessary price to pay. But, because so many others don’t see it that way, I have to wonder, occasionally, if I’m the crazy one. What is it I don’t see or understand that others appear to? Why do they believe that the price paid is acceptable? Why do they support the powers that be, becoming angry with those who don’t? There is this gulf, this awful wasteland, between us, which is creating out-and-out hostility, not to mention a sense of superiority. How are we ever going to recover from this? I don’t believe that we can, which devastates me. Who would have thought that, within less than two years, the world’s population could be so badly fractured – courtesy of a virus – and the workings of those we pay to govern our countries? Again, I genuinely want to be wrong about the future, but I fear that I’m not. We can’t rely upon anything anymore. We are told this and then that happens; we are promised one thing and then it doesn’t come to pass; we are reassured that this and that will never happen… only to find that it does. And on top of all of that, it has seriously saddened me to witness the censoring and discrediting of formerly respected, experienced scientists and doctors, who are bravely willing to risk their own livelihoods and reputations in order to present us with highly important facts and figures – information that we need to at least have the right to consider. How dare the powers that be decide for us what we get to see and hear? We are capable of making our own minds up, if only we have access to all of the relevant data. As it stands, we have been put into a position of having to dig very deep indeed just to find parts of the information that we have an absolute right to view. It’s exhausting, and I can see why people just accept and comply (well, partially, at least) – but I feel duty bound to fight back… for the sake of the future, rather than the here and now. Change occurs over time, often so subtly that it isn’t recognised until it is too late to go back. I wish that we were all on the same page, even if our beliefs differ – but that’s naive and idealistic. I want to be wrong about Bill Gates’ intentions when he predicted a forthcoming pandemic not too long before it arrived. I want to be wrong about the virus being accidentally or deliberately released from a laboratory. I want to be wrong about the major pharmaceutical companies being thoroughly invested in the billions and billions of dollars that they’ve already raked in from the vaccines. I want to be wrong about the PCR tests throwing up false positive results. I want to be wrong about the psychological manipulation training our governments receive, leading them to use emotive language that is designed to program us. I want to be wrong about the manipulated figures that are presented to us as fact. I want to be wrong about the mainstream media’s cynical intentions and overriding desire for headlines and subscriptions and lucrative government advertising budgets. I want to be wrong about those who choose not to be vaccinated, for their own considered reasons, being ostracized by a mean, finger-pointing society. I want to be wrong that yet another and another variant of the virus is going to suddenly be announced. I want to believe, quoting from Sean Of The Dead, that all we need to do is “have a cup of tea and wait for all this to blow over”. But it isn’t going to, is it?
Somehow, we have to find a way of living with it, whilst maintaining hope and enthusiasm for the future. Some cope by only focusing on their own patch of life, shutting the rest out; some cope by accepting everything that the government and the mainstream media tell them, seeing them as trustworthy and reliable sources of information; some cope by believing that the vaccines are the answer, and that once all of those who can be vaccinated are, everything will go back to normal; others cope by questioning everything and looking under every stone they can find. The fact remains that, right now, millions of people are not free to move around or see their loved ones. The fact remains that the waiting list for hospital treatment is probably now several years long. The fact remains that thousands of people have died, and many more are going to, without being able to see or touch their loved ones for the last time. The fact remains that thousands of businesses have been lost, whilst the bigger organisations have thrived. The fact remains that many people have become fatter, less fit, and more depressed. And I am not being negative when I say all of this, because it is fact. I am only explaining why I have been inwardly immobilised by it – and why billions of people will probably be feeling exactly the same way. But, the worst of it all is the divides that have developed between us – the hostility, the blame, and the distrust. I really want to be a part of the future, and of the moving forward, rather than being caught in this claustrophobic loop of angry, helpless, hopelessness. I want my children’s future to be one of freedom of choice and opportunity – not one that is stage-managed by the string pullers, or one that has a dark cloud of threat hanging over it. Right now, I just have to figure out how I’m going to be able to do that. It feels like an insurmountable task, but I know one thing for sure – I cannot continue to function in this way for too much longer.