It’s March 19, 2020. I’m sitting on the edge of a fountain in Munich. Behind me there’s a statue called The Angel of Freedom. It’s quite quiet on the streets.
A few cars, though, whizzing around and a few bikes, mine included, which is stationary at the moment because I’m sitting at the edge of a fountain. The Corona virus is gathering momentum here, like elsewhere.
It’s surreal. It’s fascinating.
I don’t wish to sound overly calm, or even indifferent, but I’m certainly not freaked out by what’s going on. Annoyed I was, by the manifestation of panic buyers and their stupidity, and their anti-social behaviour. And various politicians have also annoyed me, but not in a big way. On the topic of politicians, when I first read about the virus and Trump’s reaction to it, I was pretty sure that was his death knell, in terms of his presidency. I can’t see him surviving this one. He could may well get away with shooting someone on Fifth Avenue, but I don’t think he’s got away with his dealings with the Corona virus. So that’s a good thing, from this whole thing. And one gets the impression that Mother Nature is also not weeping, about the radical decline in CO2 emissions. You read reports and you hear people saying, “oh, the air feels fresher” and “the sky looks clearer”. I don’t know if that’s just fantasy, wishful thinking, but inevitably, with this scale of decline in use of transport of all types, it’s going to have an impact. So I would say Mother Nature is also even smiling. And that’s also not a negative thing. Negative things are definitely people dying. It doesn’t matter about the numbers. Everyone who dies leaves a trail of mourning, grieving people. So I’m very sorry about that. And also about the fear that’s running around, quite understandably, in the direction of people who are, health-wise, compromised and certainly don’t need a corona virus getting in their system. So that’s bad. Unquestionably. On an economic level, it’s certainly not a time to be rejoicing if you’re a big stockholder, not a time to be rejoicing, I guess, if you were hoping to have a secure job and secure financial basis, because what’s taking place will definitely kick the shit out of all of that, and out of the economy, out of consumerism and out of any system that’s in existence.
I think there is ‘pre corona’ mindset and a ‘corona is taking place’ mindset and, inevitably, there’ll be a ‘post corona’ mindset – a set of attitudes and realities. It will also be fascinating to see how much this is taken as an opportunity, and not simply a real bugger, a real implosion of everything that we know and “that’s it”, “It’s crap” – as opposed to “okay. This has made the world think and reflect.” I’m sure there are few people who would say they’ve experienced anything like this before. Notwithstanding the millions of people over the last years, who have experienced savage wars on every scale, and the individual personal grief that defines every society and every family and every pocket of life on the planet. Nonetheless, this does seem to have taken a form which is all encompassing and all embracing in terms of societies and nations, classes, and layers of society. It is quite egalitarian in that respect, this corona virus. It treats everyone the same. So we’ll see how things develop.
It hasn’t peaked everywhere yet. There’s got to be a peak. Every wave reaches its crest and then comes down and we’ll see how it comes down and how things look when it comes down.
But in the meantime, there’s still a lot of fascination and surreality to experience and take in; but not necessarily on this edge of a fountain, because my hands are getting very cold. So I think I will wrap things up there. Be well, be safe and good luck.
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