Post lockdown, there is now no collective grief. Post lockdown, there is now no mourning for what we lost. Post lockdown, there is now only chaos and rush and busy. In the West this looks like this –
Ignoring the death of old structures. Been in a hospital lately? Tried to get a GP appointment? Visited a food bank? Asked for an overdraft or a reprieve on your eviction? Tried to get support for a mental health crises? At least the Royals are smiling whilst we slowly die. Let’s ignore fear and death as we walk down Wembley Way.
Escaping. Summer holiday anyone? Or clubbing and getting covid as we drink ourselves into oblivion because after all, ‘This is what we live for, right?‘
The cult of being busy. Speeding, rushing. Those who are rushing back to busy to make up for lost time’ are catching covid and transmitting it to others. The gift of busy. We cannot make up for lost time. Like someone who cannot grieve a parent and runs off to the other end of the country in a new car, we are desperately trying to avoid this fact.
We cannot make up for lost time.
We must stop, not rush. Resist busy. Mourn the time we lost. Mourn what is not coming back. Refuse to join in with this collective amnesia. This collective madness. Stop. Breathe. Be grateful for the small things. You are still here. Then – when you are ready – join the next generation in surveying the damage our generation made. Think climate change. Think the West as a greedy monster that killed creativity. Think about what next? The West is Dying. Entitlement with no consequences is Dying.
Let’s start again. The West is in collective denial about its own death. But we can see through this. Let’s really mourn what we lost before we start again. If we resist busy and stop to truly and deeply mourn what we lost, we can ask ourselves the following questions – What did we lose? What did we learn?
It felt safe until it didn’t.
Alice Smith August 2021