March 20th, 2020: Day 4 of my Absolute, Now-Government-Mandated Quarantine//Day 10 of my School’s Earlier, Precautionary One.
Photography by Ami J. Sanghvi.
I think we’re all under a lot of pressure to do the right thing. The issue is that right now, we’re not entirely sure what that is.
For most of us, if not all of us, this level of crisis is one we’ve never seen before in our lives. The world is shutting down (Los Angeles officially put in the “Stay at Home” order yesterday evening); some of us went from self-quarantining by choice to staying home by law (a really great and necessary thing they did, but still capable of creating some very claustrophobic sentiments). Some of the strongest people I know are sobbing on a daily basis and refuse to face the news anymore; stranger yet, for the first time in my life, I understand and condone this behavior.
And, in the midst of this, our nation is falling apart. The United States is not built for this — for any of this. Our country, though shiny on the surface (but growing duller and duller with each passing day), is hardly built for much on a regular day. We will soon have to face up to the uncomfortable truth that the United States is becoming a second world country; maybe we already have been for some time now.
Helplessness is a strange feeling, but it’s truly a terrible sentiment to endure on such citywide, national, and global scales. The best most of us can do right now is stay at home, work from home, read books, and watch television while the world inevitably falls apart around us.
Many indie authors have been faced with the dilemma of whether it’s even ethical to boost/release their books in wake of the current situation. I mean, I say yes; people are stuck inside, and that’s going to be tough for many. If we can add more art to the world during this difficult time, more pass times, why wouldn’t we?
I even personally lowered my prices to make my books more accessible to people who need something to bide the time and remain sane during this quarantine. Of course, I felt a little strange about it at first, unsure if that was the thing to do, but now I’m glad I did.
I suppose the world can always use more poetry.
Human ethics are being challenged in a way we haven’t yet seen this millennium. This is a grand scale crisis, and all the lines as we knew them before are shifting. Avoiding our loved ones, our aging parents and grandparents, is now moralistic. For once, surprising grandma with a non-essential visit is the wrong thing to do. Leaving our houses is inconsiderate, and potentially dangerous. Borders are closing, economies are collapsing…
It’s very strange that the best we can do to save the world right now is stay home, watch TV, and consistently video-chat with our friends and families to make sure they’re okay.
But then again, we are so blessed. It could be worse.
We could be at war.