The World Has Shut Down
 Apr 11, 2020 by Douglas Johnson

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Today is a new day. That's what the calendar is telling me. It is supposed to be a new day, yet it is the same day as yesterday. Yesterday is today and today was tomorrow. I am not talking about déjà vu. I'm talking about the same. The same of everything.

You've probably seen A Groundhog Day, with Bill Murray. Well, I feel like Bill Murray, although I may have a different alarm sound. Since a month now, my life has been put in pause. I get up, switch on my computer, spend a day in front of a screen, then go to bed. Rinse and repeat.

In the movie, Bill's character had actually a pretty exciting day, he was able to go outside and interact with the elements and with people. He was actually going fully at it, learning to play the piano, dancing, socializing, you name it. Me? Nothing like that. My days are undramatic. A complete sense of complexity has left my life, and thus me.

Suddenly, I realized that taking the time to put on some formal clothes, wearing a tie, taking public transportation to go to work was actually a privilege. A privilege because it makes you enjoy your return to home even more. There is no such feeling of satisfaction than coming back home after a long day at the office.

Waking up and spending every single day at home is excruciatingly boring and painful. The reason? There is no pain anymore. All pain has been removed from my life. And I fucking miss that.

Do I complain? Of course I do. I truly miss 2019. A year with financial records that turned into a new year of financial and health nightmare. Someone has done something somewhere in China. And the economy has stopped. The world has shut down. No more restaurants, bars, theaters, shops. The end.

Should I complain? Absolutely not. I actually fully realize that I am lucky enough to be able to stay at home with enough financial security that I know I'll be able to get through the crisis without a problem. I will have a roof over my head and food on my plate for as long as this crisis lasts. I know many are suffering. Many have passed away from this sickness and I don't care about their age or situation. Every life matters, however fragile.

At of today, more than 100,000 people have officially lost their life because of COVID-19. Half a million Americans have been infected and while a global peak is eventually supposed to come, we are not there yet. So this text is a message in a bottle for future generations. Perhaps hundred years from now, people will face the same and refer to 2020 as the year the world shut down.

But in each crisis, however difficult, comes a silver lining. What is our silver lining? Our planet is, for the first time since the industrial revolution, breathing. I know it won't last, but let's enjoy this climate victory. Many are reconnecting with loved ones in a pause from the mundanity of our daily lives. Many are finding the time to read a book or play some music. Because we can still elevate ourselves even when being in confinement. That's the extraordinary power of art. And I give you an example with some profound music from an Argentinian guitar-player I like, named Gustavo Santaolalla, that will hopefully give you wings for a few minutes:

The op-ed is dedicated to our member Marco, who lost a dear member of his family to the virus.

Comments (1)

By CryptoGirl on 2020-04-11 15:02:20 ET
wow, very moving article. you are very talented - but you were wrong, things are not the same, our hair are longer every day and i do need a haircut

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