March 19, 2020

It's getting real

If I had to put a word on what I'm feeling about all of this, it would be "grief." In a matter of a few short weeks, just about everything we were looking forward to is gone. Holidays, family get-togethers, celebrations -- all put on hold, as everything we once thought stable becomes uncertain. So many people will lose their jobs, their businesses, and even their lives.

I see people going through the stages: The roads in my neighbourhood have been full of the hard-core deniers, off to work as normal. When the schools close next week, even those last hold-outs won't be able to ignore the pandemic any longer. The next stage is anger. We're beginning to see that already as people queue for hours for a bag of dried pasta. Bargaining? What is meant by "isolation", exactly? How far can I push that?

Depression isn't far behind. The enthusiasm among my colleagues is waning. Day after day of constant video conferences is getting old. Even introverted software developers realise they can't live on Internet alone.

What will acceptance look like? I don't doubt that we will get to that last stage. We will learn to cope, but how? What will we learn during this period of forced separation? How will this change our societies, economies or neighbourhoods? We will soon see.

Tags: coronavirus