The other day, I was texting a friend, and I said something like “I need to practice my conversation skills because I’m afraid that once we’re allowed to socialize again, I’ll discover I’ve become feral from all this isolation.”
Once you stop laughing at my wit, you’ll see that there’s an interesting philosophical dilemma in my comment.
Will we become a feral society after being isolated from each other for so long?
After all, we’re going on two months of being cut off from societal norms and structure. Who knows what odd habits we’ve developed, or what we’ve forgotten after not being around people for so long.
I’m struggling with the idea of not wearing sweatpants all the time. I’m also worried that my polite conversation filter might be faulty from lack of use. What if I simply forget that I’m not supposed to say what’s on my mind all the time?
Then I look at the news, and I fear that it’s already too late. The Zombies might not have come for us as a result of this virus, but something else has risen up from the pandemic.
Angry mobs are defying the stay at home order to march and demand their freedom. There are protestors screaming at law enforcement offices. Healthcare workers, armed only with scrubs and face masks, are standing up to armed protestors.
That’s way past the point of not wanting to change out of sweatpants, or forgetting that it’s rude to burp in public.
The other night, I overheard a conversation between two people complaining that they were forced to wear a mask before entering a crowded store. They cursed, said they had a right to shop however they wanted, and dared the store employee to have them arrested.
That’s the part I don’t get. I’m not exactly keen on wearing a mask, but I understand that it is about the safety of those around me, and people I can’t even see. A loved one sitting at home could end up infected because someone wouldn’t wear a mask in public.
I was uneasy about being furloughed from my job, but I understood why it had to happen. I’m not a huge fan of being cooped up in the house all day, but I comprehend how much higher the death tolls could climb without social distancing and sheltering in place.
I get that this is America, and people have a right to their opinions. I just also thought that this is America, a place where people understand that the good of the nation needs to come before the individual.
This is a difficult time, and once it ends, we have to continue on with our lives.
I guess I’m worried about what society will look like when we “return to normal”. Will we be the (somewhat) civilized group we were before the pandemic laid waste to our planet, or will we be like something out of a Mad Max film?
I’m hoping that this frightening glimpse of a feral society is merely one of the lesser known symptoms of the Coronavirus, or that people are simply having an adverse reaction to the ungodly amount of pressure and stress they been subjected to because of the pandemic.
A civilized society will rise again to greatness, but a feral one is destined to slide down the rabbit hole and emerge at the opening of the first Hunger Games…
Do you worry about the effects that an extended period of isolation will have on society?