Imagine it’s five years later. February 13, 2026. Nothing changed. Masks, distancing, everything is closed, everybody is on Zoom, no schools for kids, no travel for you, etc.
Don’t tell me it’s impossible. A year ago, did you think it was possible? Did you have any inkling that it would all still continue a year later?
How old will you be in 5 years? Imagine you already are and you’ve spent not one but six years like this.
Will it be OK? Will you get angry? Six years total, a large chunk of your life. Eaten away under the guise of “two weeks to flatten the curve.” Will six years be enough? Will you be ready to stop then?
If so, then why wait? Let’s stop now. Remember, it ends when we realize it’s all (the operative word being “all”) completely ridiculous and stop taking it seriously. It ends when we decide it ends.
20 thoughts on “Five More Years”
Unfortunately, at this point, I think things will get worse. There will be a time when we will wish for the good old 2020 to come back. On top of everything that you have described, you need to add vaccine passports and a requirement to take the vaccine if you want to continue being employed. Of course, the vaccine is not a one-off deal, and it will need a series of boosters and modifications in order to keep up with mutations. In places where the vaccine passport is starting to be implemented, the initial validity is 6 months after the full vaccine dose. You do the math. And with all that massive vaccine distribution, we will still be wearing masks and locked up. My workplace already has requirements in place for everyone to get tested once a week and they have plans for a vaccination center on campus to distribute the vaccine to all students and employees. No one is talking yet about the vaccine being compulsory, but you know it’s coming. I know that many believe everything will be back to normal this fall, but I am not hopeful anymore.
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Of course. You are absolutely right. It will get worse. And worse. And worse.
Until people get fed up and stop taking it seriously. The way out of this mess is so close. So easy to reach. But we will die of thirst in front of a huge pitcher of water. Serves us right.
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“In places where the vaccine passport is starting to be implemented, the initial validity is 6 months after the full vaccine dose. You do the math”
Maybe you should do the math. When the first million covid deaths were recorded the WHO estimated that 750 million people had had it (and have never backtracked on that AFAIK). That means a fatality rate of 0.0013 %
The math indicates this is not about health so then the question is: what’s it about? the first answers that come to mind are economic restructuring and wealth transfer from the 99% to the 1%.
Stopping it will require mass civil disobedience (signs of that in a number of European countries and parts of the US but nowhere near the levels needed.
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I have done the math. I don’t believe this is about the virus at all. Virus is just a convenient tool and it works great. The problem is, most of the people still do think this is all about the virus. In their eyes, you and I are crackpots at best, and dangerous conspiracy theorists who need to be silenced at worst.
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Absolutely. There are a few people who are seeing through the charade but the majority is still hopelessly in thrall to it. Saying in public (while wearing a mask) that masks don’t work is akin to confessing that you are a member of the Islamic State. People are stunned into horrified silence. They need to get over this or we’ll never gain our freedom back.
Certain people will stop believing the crap about the virus once they stop benefiting from it. Take my workplace. Because we depend on work of other people and their productivity is lower since the pandemic, there is less work for the same pay and people get to work from home. Supporting the official narrative is in their best interest if they hate showing up in the office each morning.
It’s the same with teachers. I bet few would be hysterical about dying from covid if you told them that their salaries are cut in half if they choose to teach from home.
All the government has to do is to make sure there are enough people whose lives improved because of the pandemic. It looks like the money presses are well oiled and they will print money forever. There will be a new mutation every couple of months to make sure there is a “science” reason to keep the charade going.
Offshore near Perdido Key: 2026: Bill checks his GPS, adjusts course, cracks a leathery grin. He used to run a commercial fishing rig, but since the blockade, he couldn’t sell his catch for enough to buy gas. Best thing that ever happened, really. Running passengers out of the lockdown zones for a beach vacation was less work, less stink, and paid better. Even upgraded the boat! Tourists like the romance of a sailing yacht. Even if it’s on the small side. His daughter Linda keeps the passengers in life-jackets and sunscreen, tidies up the head, and hands out snacks (made by his sister Charlene). They’d set out from Mobile Bay before sunrise, and should make Pensacola before lunchtime. Maybe there’d be dolphins today: dolphins were always a hit with the passengers.
The shipyards had their federal and state-government contracts cancelled in ’22, to spite the governor. But they weren’t hurting for business: they’d re-tooled for smaller boats. With the travel and shipping restrictions, boats had never been in more demand. Bill bought the sloop off a rich bastard who’d upgraded to a custom steel-hulled schooner with private bunks for each of his kids.
Much of the traffic that used to come in through the highways and airports now used the marinas. Bill had been working one boat or other since the 80s, and he’d never seen the marinas so busy: they were building out as fast as they could, but they couldn’t keep up. Intrepid waterfront citizens were getting in on the act, renting out their docks to small commercial enterprises. The state promised to regulate them… eventually.
Not that things had been all roses and rainbows: at first, grocery prices soared, tourism slowed to a trickle, and Disney had locked the gates and let go 60,000 emplo– er, cast members. Charlene had moved back home to Milton after her B&B in Maitland went bust. Orlando was in a terminal slump. But Florida had… adapted. Jacksonville, with its deep harbor by the state line, was going gangbusters. When gasoline spiked in ’23, the state government commandeered the old railroads, redirected a large chunk of the highway budget into repairs, and started using them instead of trucking routes, from the ports. There were passenger trains from Pensacola all the way to Miami. Food and necessity prices came down some, but in the meantime, they’d gone up for the rest of the country. Still high… but not much different from every other state, these days. Can’t fight the oil prices. Still: when shortages hit out West and all around Appalachia, Florida came through okay thanks to the rails.
People sneaking in by boat for a pleasant vacation sometimes decided to stay: no state income tax, they were working from home anyway, and after a couple of years, not only were the schools in session: they’d improved. Federal funding had been withheld for noncompliance, but without it there was no reason to follow any other federal education mandates and all sorts of experiments were in progress: tech schools, free schools, tech-free schools, classical-model, Waldorf knockoffs, student cooperatives, marine academies… Property values had risen steeply, and with them, property tax revenue. This eased the funding gap, and costs were cut in other ways. Busing was trimmed to just rural students, and neighborhood-sized schools had sprouted like mushrooms all over: in strip malls, defunct grocery stores, rented church halls… Bill’s kids had all had to ride the bus an hour or more each school day. His grandkids rode their bikes. He wasn’t sure they really needed to do Plutarch in fifth grade, but they seemed happy.
It’s not what Bill imagined he’d be doing ten years ago, but life’s full of surprises. And not all of them are bad. “If y’all will look out to the port (that’s up there on the left for the landlubbers), I believe those are dolphins!” he called.
That’s what I call the spirit of American optimism. Thank you. 🙂
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I think you have the outline of an intriguing dystopian novel here. I’d buy it!
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I’m flattered! But I can’t write fiction: at best, I can string together little vignettes out of real things and bits of speculation. Plot escapes me entirely.
Unsolicited critical review:
Sure, you can, methylethyl — you just did!
Certain type of prose “mood” short stories don’t need a moving plot to be labelled fiction and even to sell well. (If you doubt this, watch re-runs of “The Ray Bradbury Theatre,” featuring works by that famous author that start at plot point A, and after 30 static minutes, end at…point A, and the viewer shakes his head and asks, “What the hell did I just watch for half an hour? Did anything happen??)
“Mood” stories like yours work as prose, but not in visual media like television.
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…Though if you want to write that novel, you can have the outline free of charge 😉
It’s very well written. And it’s not untrue. For some people things will get better and easier. But those who will be able to take advantage of the new situation will be the people who manage to reorient their thinking fast. Like Bill. 🙂
I sure hope so!
Can any of the reader-computer experts on this website explain to me why the icon at the end of methylethyl’s comment appears correctly on my screen as a smirking happy face, and the icons after Clarissa’s comments always appear as squares?
I know that you’re lurking, Stringer Bell, and are somewhat of a computer expert. Will you answer my question? Thanks!
Methylethyl that was brilliant. You didn’t mention the Ambleside Online cottage schools – maybe that’s where Bill’s grandkids went
If you put too many items in the list, it starts sounding like an index rather than a story 😉 But of course, Bill’s grandkids don’t need the Online version, because their neighborhood school has a handful of teachers who did an intensive PNEU bootcamp, and are continuing to study and discuss the Mason Canon and look for ways to improve their lessons. This is a recent development, you see. They’re still learning it. But the live reptiles in the classroom are a big hit, and they’ve already got the string quartet scheduled to come back next semester.
From where I’m standing, it’s too late to stop most of it. Large corporations were given the most free money and are allowed to stay open while smaller operators closed. So, when a little bit of money is given to regular people it is spent straight back towards the enormous entities that were given the most free money in the first place, who didn’t have to close anyway.
Meanwhile many regular people are broke, in debt, in arrears, or about to go bankrupt anyway, which means that at some point a lot of assets are going to flow from the possession of many regular people to a small number of entities that were in receipt of free money on top. Since many businesses use their homes or other assets as collateral in order to secure business loans, it means that many of them will close down, firing workers along the way.
Even if the virus disappeared right now along with every mask, glove, bottle of hand sanitiser and even that nitwit Fauci, none of the above would change.
So, like it or not a big chunk of most people’s lives is going to be fairly unpleasant anyway. Whether you’re stuck in the house taking Zoom calls or outside coping with the heaving economy of what looks to be a new economic depression, it’s going to suck anyway.
ok I’m a lawyer. Right now the courts are shut. About half my city is not paying rent — any rent. Commercial tenants less than residential, because the commercial tenants all have lawyers.
Six years from now, if no tenant still doesn’t have to pay rent? And the courts never re-open. All the tenants will love it! And if the landlords stop fixing the buildings, the tenants will fix them.
And if the courts never re-open, the buildings will never get confiscated for nonpayment of taxes.
It’s not just schools and concerts that are being shut down right now.
That’s quite terrifying.