Growing Pains

An Alien To The Status Quo

These Twenty Twenties…

These Twenty Twenties…

There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.

We are almost into the mid-2020s and so far, we have seen wars, a pandemic that kept us in our houses for two years, volcanic erupting, earthquakes shaking, and the rise of AI and LLMs (Large Language Models) which is a new frontier for the world’s elite to discriminate against the colonized.

Without further ado, let us delve into these twenty twenties…

Do you remember the beginning of 2020? In February 2020, we were going about our lives, sneezing openly, squeezing ourselves into taxis, and walking around. We didn’t know, we had no way of knowing that in just a few days, our lives would be upended, turned upside down to a point of no recognition.

When we screamed in 2020 to the new decade, there was a palpable hope in the air; a feeling that tweny tweny was going to be the best year yet. How naive we were. They say hindsight is twenty-twenty and with the knowledge of all that has happened in these past four years, and all that is still happening, we can look back and laugh at our naivete. 

We first heard about the scary new flu-like virus that was killing the people of Wuhan, China towards the end of 2019. And just like the war that is currently happening in Ukraine, Palestine, and many other parts of the world, we didn’t pay much attention to it. Many of us heard the news, shook our heads, said, “Poor China,” and went about trying to fizzle through life. I still remember those pre-covid days with a nostalgic fondness. Not that they were any better, but they were not as crazy as this rubbish fire has been.

The arrival of 2020 was the poster child for negative vibes. Ms.Rona took the World Tour invite a little too seriously, and the global lockdown was the featured artist that tagged along. We were told by those in power and celebrities who sat in big mansions that the best way to combat this virus was to stay indoors and mask up.

Then there was the booming of Netflix’s content, TikTok, and Zoom meetings. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would say these companies conspired to spread COVID-19 so that they could flourish. Boy, did they flourish! I’m not saying that they did do it, but I’m not saying that they didn’t either.

The lockdowns brought out the best in content creators, the industry was heavy on recruitment. That tiny Chinese app suddenly became the biggest app in the world and made celebrities out of ordinary people, like Elsa Majimbo. And we were still on this track with the greatest lyrics in the world; “can you hear me? I can’t see you, can you turn on your camera? I can’t hear you, your mic is muted. I think my network is not working”. 

The other conspiracy theory that I refuse to get behind, mostly because I love fast internet and I’m considering entering the metaverse and not coming out, is that the radio waves of the new 5G network were what caused COVID-19.

Initially, the novel Covid-19 pandemic rode in with a wave of fear that engrossed everyone. That fear had us sanitizing every single spot in the house and sanitizing our hands after we had accidentally touched a stranger. That fear had us buying toilet paper for some reason and finishing out the aisle in the supermarket that had all the cleaning essentials. That fear paralyzed even the strongest of us. And when we heard that someone we knew had the dreaded disease, we were filled with dis-ease.

But, as is unavoidable, we became complacent. We didn’t sanitize. We didn’t throw away clothes we wore in public. We didn’t listen to the doomsday news anymore. We got Covid fatigue. Life became semi-normal. We were getting used to the new normal. But we still longed for the precedented times. The lockdown was still squeezing the lives out of us. LDUs were trigger-happy and because of the curfew, we assumed the virus spread in the middle of the night.

And then Covid-19 reared its ugly head again, with a remix called Delta that was deadlier than the original. This remix swept through the nation like a wave, leaving devastating effects in its wake. But, it too ended, replaced by the remix to the last remix which ushered in the year 2022. (Covid-19 had more remixes and hits than DJ Khaled.)

The pandemic should have been the only thing that occupied our psyches in these four years but, as the saying goes, when it rains, it pours. It felt like every other day, some historical event was unfolding right before our eyes. Mountains erupted. The US, our paragon of democratic virtue, had an attempted coup. The Black Lives Matter movement and NBS TV’s attempt at joining in the movement with the ill-advised All Lives Matter t-shirts. Tiger King and the entire world were convinced that Carol Baskin did it. Texting old acquaintances in the hopes of rekindling relationships that had died when the world was not spinning out of control. Wars that we didn’t pay attention to. Floods in places that were previously unaffected. Internet Blackouts. Elections marred with violence. Killer bees and locusts. I don’t know if I am the only one but I feel like I am living in Biblical Egypt during the 10 plagues.  

Getting to 2022 was a signal that everything was subsiding. Vaccines against Covid-19 are available and the world has opened up. Lockdown was no more. In 2024, people are ‘waweelu’ and thriving. And it feels almost normal. Except for the threat of World War III with Iran and Israel going to war, the threat of nuclear war by Russia, the sun beating down at us like we are Becky With The Good Hair or Jolene, fuel shortages, and global inflation. Frankly, it’s exhausting living in historical times. Our lives have been one long crisis and we won’t have time for a midlife crisis.

I’ll never again have to wonder about Influenza, the Great Depression, and World War 1 from the 1920s.

There is a story that explains the big butts of the Irish. According to this story, the Irish experienced a devastating famine for decades. Subsequent generations of the Irish were blessed with big butts because genetics is a wonder and the fat stored in the butts would help them survive famines. And other genetic inheritances due to outside influences. What will future generations inherit from the fear and tension we have lived through in these past four years? Anxiety? Perhaps a nonchalance to life and all of its issues. We can only wait and see.

These past four years have been anything but rosy. There have been so many things that have been left out because so much happened. A lot of us are exhausted and are just looking at these historical events with detached interest, even when these events directly affect us. I can only hope that the world heals and we get back to the boring days. I can only hope for a return of 2016, which I am convinced was the last best year we, as earthlings, experienced.

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