Post COVID-19 - An Alternative Universe?

I think desperate times have called for desperate measures. I am trying to remain positive, but as much as I am encountering all sorts of premonitions of the possible future, I can’t stop to think about some of the potential outcomes this world has in store after the wave of this pandemic. I remember one of my childhood favorites, The Jetsons - where the futuristic society was well mapped for young minds to grasp with. But, the reality is quite different now and that predominantly determines how we have agency in the post-COVID world. 

Let me try to imagine this new world we might be heading into. The year is 2030 and cars are no longer fueled by petrol in the garage stations but by oil directly from reserves in established countries who send in cartons of it on a 6-month basis. Cars are not that casually driven on roads, only those who are permitted to have them can drive. Schools and universities no longer remain physically open and learning has become a completely online feature, sourced to those who can afford to pursue it. Campuses previously located on scenic premises are now used for show, storage and curation of how glorious the past was. Groceries are delivered on end, with a weekly mandatory shopping list stipulated by governments as regulated inventory is made available only. Alcohol is no longer valid, so we are left universally sober. Families no longer consist of relationships but cantonment placings where friends and acquaintances have moved in to evade isolation and support. Families are now guised as camps of individuals who receive the same parceled groceries and live on the same floor sending remittances back home to half-empty towns. 

Climate change has further debilitated extreme conditions for natural calamities to occur more frequently. This includes landslides, earthquakes, famines and depletion of natural resources for states to incline towards growth and trade. There is always an uncomfortable breeze that makes it more than gloomy to walk outside. Poverty has soared and almost 70% of the world live carefully on means to simply survive. Movement is a task only undertaken by those in the essential services and the rest of the planet stay indoors fostering their domestic and mental health challenges without any sordid intervention. The internet is a luxury, also only afforded to those who access it and it becomes both a haven for followers and a nestle for propaganda. The military are regular visitors, ordered by heads of states to patrol infinitely. Pandemics are no longer an anomaly; after the COVID-19 wave, different global scares have led an unwavering worry for the sustainability of humanity. International organizations are no longer autonomous to reign over matters of priority; in 2030 sovereignty is determined by states and authority is the currency of the mind. 

This is a very ghastly image of what the world could be, but not far from what we are lurking into now. Sure, positivists argue that optimism should be ushered into the new decade of the millennium. During the COVID pandemic, many of us were left struck by the conditions subjected to us, more to endure in the forthcoming years as a result of a standstill. But, this has shocking repercussions. This is not to solely blame societal ills on its leaders who have contributed to pandemonium, but to practice what we know as democracy. 

As we shiver into winter, locked in our homes terrified of what lies ahead, we hold on to tangible hope in the form of beloved company and spirituality. But, these can’t be the only things that welcome our well-being. I am not condemning the lockdown in any way, from any country, but trying to take a deeper look into how we have become so unkind to ourselves that the society we now live in only predicts more decay. Inflation, gender violence, mental health strain, economic (in)security and just basic human rights are now the cornerstones of the human kind in the last two months. The paradigm of social distancing has even brought out the lived experiences of those who cannot gather the luxury of privacy. Our circumstances have been manhandled even more than this virus, we are all in the circus of fear on the same level of panic and despair. 

We are broken and this is not to say we won’t heal in the future. But the post-COVID world doesn’t surprise us with any more dire steps taken in the favour of our nations, so as to speak. Now is the time to break into implementing egalitarianism to avoid any more unequal slaughters. The reality of a dystopian society may not be too far from us, but rather be assembled during this pandemic. Now, this may be the invigorated of a tensed millennial who may be politically charged to spot out the consequences of severe inequality; but are we not all attentive to the changes we have had to make over the last few weeks? 

I am talking about disintegration and decline; the rapid descent from the maintained odyssey this millennium promised us. We are no way closer to a ‘peaceful world’ and the endorsed slogans of unity. However, let us take this time to reshape the contours of our belief system to actually define the morality of what these pandemics lead us. We have to fold our pride and work together to avoid the world we are heading towards, indefinitely.