I generally consider myself someone who lives from major event to major event. In other words, how I get by in my everyday is by looking forward to a brighter future. Maybe it's a show I'm a part of, or a new game I'm looking forward to coming out, or a trip I'm planning on taking with friends. Regardless, I live life hopping from hype to hype, living in the great moments and looking forward to the next. For many people, I suspect the same is true. After all, the easiest way to escape the mundane realities of everyday life is to look forward to when things get more exciting.
COVID-19 has effectively destroyed this entirely.
As a result, for many individuals (myself included) time has taken on this new, grotesque, swollen form. There is no future. In fact, there's barely even a past. There is only "now". The eternal now, which both feels as though it has been going on since forever and that it extends in to the future eternally. For me- and this has proven true for many of my friends as well, I've found- it's hard to remember events before COVID started. It feels like they were centuries ago.
But the more troubling aspect of this crisis than the hazy past is its uncertain future. Really, we don't have any idea when this will end. With a vaccine? Herd immunity? In the case of the former, estimates range from September to 18 months. But even these estimates could be totally off. After all, a vaccine has never been produced in less time than four years. In the case of herd immunity- well, that's completely impossible to quantify in terms of date.
And so, we continue to live in the eternal now. No one, not even the experts, knows when this will be over. By definition, it can't be known. But if we don't have anything to look forward to, how do we learn to move forward at all?