Br(u)no: The Sequel Has Begun

Photo credit: KJB / Brno Daily.

I am generally a positive person. People tell me that I look annoyed most of the time but, inside, I am usually thinking about something interesting or planning how to complete my next task(s).

But, I will admit that having the country close down again as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus has gotten to me, even though it was completely expected. It feels as though everything is starting to pile up, like the world is turning in on itself. Everything seems to skew toward the negative.

Global warming has irrecoverably changed the planet that we will leave to our children and their children, bolstering hurricanes, fanning wildfires and raising sea levels. The liberal democratic system, which restored order for a long stretch of general international peace after two deadly world wars, is being challenged in nearby countries, like Belarus and Hungary. Political decorum — and a symbolic marker of democracy — was dragged through the mud in a recent American presidential debate. The press has become an easy punching bag and journalists have been murdered. Superpowers are reportedly building the next generation of weapons of mass destruction. Inequality and prejudice are ingrained in societies around the world. The younger generation gets its news from Facebook. And on and on.

Now, with the coronavirus spreading faster, the air that we breathe in our own city and within our own neighborhood might have the nasty particles that will attach their ugly hooks to our lungs in order to wreak havoc upon our bodies. Maybe the result is just a few days of fever. But maybe not. Maybe there will soon be a vaccine. But maybe not.

Even the President of the United States, the so-called “Most Powerful Man in the World” with, presumably, the most protection, has now been infected with the deadly virus. Love him or hate him, it is just another blow to normalcy.

* * *

It is easy to be complacent about COVID-19. We’ve been there and done that. We already saw that movie, and it was anticlimactic.

I knew a couple people who were infected in the spring. Now I have one or two degrees of separation from several dozen. Will the next step be to know a couple people who have died? Then, God forbid, several dozen?

I believe that this coronavirus is real, and getting stronger with the cooler weather. The history books are full of plagues and illnesses, so it makes sense that another was bound to come along. And, actually, recent history is full of them — the Bird Flu, the Swine Flu, SARS, the 1918 flu pandemic. We recognize these names and we probably know that thousands of people died — but they didn’t affect most of us, so they stayed as curiosities that many of us laughed about during episodes of South Park.

The Malthusian curve has long predicted how our exponential global population growth has been outpacing available resources. Something has to snap.

In my opinion, it feels like the coronavirus is the tipping point.

* * *

In any case, despite the general negativity, I have not yet panicked. Nor have I bought a 5 kg bag of rice, just in case, like I did in the early spring.

It still feels like Brno is a relatively safe place. Facemasks and social distancing will, hopefully, be enough until an effective vaccine is developed and distributed.

But this sequel will again be tough. Janáček Brno 2020 has been devastated. Students are again stuck at home again. I’m going to have a half dozen 6-year-old ballerinas in my attic because their weekly class has been suspended. And it’s crap that you can’t drink beer past 10 p.m. in your local bar.

What are you going to do?

Hopefully, the climax of this real-life movie will be another let down.

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