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Pandemic in Focus

What Happens Now?

Stephen Spiller | NY, United States

Angela: I don't know who to believe about coronavirus.

How do we live in a world enshrouded by an invisible, life-threatening virus, targeting everyone, especially the unwary, the self-absorbed, the naive and, yes, the poor? Has COVID-19 altered what we think about/remember/prepare for? Are we, consciously or not, different than before? My series “What Happens Now” is intended to look at how we're living unprepared for irrational dying; the work aspires to be a tabloid press headline juxtaposing pre-and-post-pandemic thinking and perspective. This is about how people process the news announcing 100,000 deaths by ignoring, denying, worrying about, ridiculing, etc. the existence/impact of an opportunistic invader. How well we prepare for the next, and inevitable, invasion depends upon integrating lessons learned about the science and psychology of the current one.

The acrimony evident in United States politics is appalling. Social, political, and cultural practices shape our lives. Ourgovernment is polarizing the electorate and emasculating our country. Who we are as individuals, and collectively as a nation, is reflected by our decisions and actions. Timothy Egan (NYT op-ed, 3/5/16) revealed in a searing commentary that vast numbers of us applaud the existing rancor. I am appalled because, as he concluded: “The beast Is Us”.


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