It’s Not New

Covid. Pandemic. Plagues that follow the tracks people make in their journeying to and fro. Interacting, as humans do. Until times like these.

It’s not new. History is full of the times of fear and disease, of deaths in high numbers.

None of that matters when it’s close to home. We fear the unknown, even though it isn’t unknown. We fear the memory of it happening again. And to those close to us. It brings fear of contact. It brings blame and strained relationships.

Fear is more contagious than any virus or disease. It takes only one case to create fear, but that fear balloons into a monstrous, amorphous shape that clouds the sky, clouds vision, clouds reason. Fear rules.

Fences go up, distances enforced. Neighbours wave away those who were once invited in for a cuppa and a chat. Mail delivered to the wrong box gets thrown on the lawn rather than brought to the door.

The postie doesn’t bring the parcel to the house. It gets dropped on the path, two metres from the entrance.

Food deliveries. Do they ring the bell? Knock? No. The groceries sit in the sun unless there’s someone to notice a vehicle stopping in the street. But on a busy street, no one is certain which is close and which is distant, so the food melts, or stales, or disappears like gold dust into the land of the fairies.

These are the times people build tall fences, wear armour, keep rabid dogs at their boundaries. These are the times people fear others. All others. Anyone not family, not immediate blood-related, is a stranger, and strangers are dangerous. We know that, we’ve learned it through our childhood.

Stranger Danger.

It’s not for children anymore. It’s for everyone. We have become self-isolators in so many ways. Fearful, distant, and aggressive to difference.

How long will it take to move beyond that fear?

I don’t have answers. Do you?

Photo by Engin Akyurt on

11 thoughts on “It’s Not New

  1. I do not have an answer to how long. I still have Covid fear. but it is not so great that I would turn someone away from my door if they were delivering something. But I understand what you are speaking about only too well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It seems to swell with each wave of the new strains. We get the people who don’t mask and think it’s not worth worrying about (until they get a death or two in their family), and the other end, where they admonish anyone without a mask, or who steps to close for comfort (but they don’t want to do without anything, and complain about not having ‘enough’ in the shops). We don’t have enough people picking crops, or working in the food supply system, so food is currently expensive, and thieves delight in the delivery programs where stuff is left in plain sight – everyone’s doing it tough – and therefore, the trust issue becomes worse.
      I’m sure that one day it will ease. Maybe not this year.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Not quite as terrified as I was – the second booster helped – but we still only go out when absolutely necessary, and we still mask up, and we still hand-sanitise, and we still wash everything that comes to the house. I sometimes wonder if that will ever completely go away. Sometimes it feels like a comfortable prison sentence with no parole in sight. Thank god we can escape digitally.

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      • ? Omicron and the later Covids are aerosols, so if a neighbour came up close and personal, even outside, of course they could pass it on. Anyone in the vulnerable category has a right to be fearful. Death is rather permanent.

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      • This incident was a distance of 20 feet minimum. Not likely to transmit at that distance. They have kids, and those kids bring friends home, but they blame the neighbour for saying hello.
        Disputes between neighbours in this area are mounting. Dog walkers demand a person walk the other side of the road, rather than wear a mask on a street with a busy footpath. It goes too far. There’s caution, which is sensible, but blaming others the way it’s happening is ridiculous when the blamer is so blind to their own behaviours.

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  3. I don’t have covid fear because it’s not personal. I do have stranger fear because of what humans can intentionally do to one another. I don’t know how to get past that. Meet people, chat with them… everyone’s so isolated inside their phones they hold in front of them while walking, they lay on the table while eating, they talk hands-free into while driving.

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    • It does appear that this is the time where everyone is a stranger unless we’re ‘friended’ with them.
      It takes time to make a friendship happen, but we still need that community of like-minded souls, to know someone thinks we’re important.

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  4. I think, sadly, that as the climate crisis, and the latest virus, continue to push our collective ‘buttons’, humans will become more and more tribal, as in ‘I’ll take care of my own and be damned to the rest’ … because ‘the rest’, is completely beyond our control now. We do what we can locally to change, but there just isn’t the will to make those changes, suitably scaled up, on a global scale.
    So, to answer your last question, I fear we may be generations away from living without fear, if, as a species, we ever did.

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