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The Myth of Security – Coronavirus Remix

Firstly, and most importantly I hope this email finds you and your family safe and well.

It’s a strange new world we’re living in these days eh?
And now, just to add to the strangeness, here I am, popping up out of nowhere.

So yes, it’s been a while. I haven’t blogged for a long time.

With good reason. I had nothing worthwhile to say, at least that’s what I thought. And one thing I won’t ever do is send out crap just for the sake of it.

That said my definition of crap may be different to yours. I’ll know if that’s the case should you unsubscribe or click away. But I really hope that doesn’t happen.

Before I start, a quick note. I’ve adopted the following abbreviations for use in my writing: BCoV (Before the Virus) and ACoV (After the Virus). In the months and years ahead I suspect I’ll be using them a lot. We’re living through a massive historic event of global significance. Nothing like this has happened since WWII. World Wars change things forever. Coronavirus will do the same. We’ve gotten used to hearing the phrases ‘before the war’ and ‘after the war’. Now we’ve got two more to add.
I put ‘ CoronaVirus’ in this blog title but I was getting a little confused as to what the correct name for this thing was. The WHO website put me right.

The Virus (The microscopic parasite transmitted between us)
severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2
(SARS-CoV-2)

The Disease (The symptoms you get from the virus)
coronavirus disease
(COVID-19)

Anyways BCoV and ACoV it is from now on.

Now, where was I? Oh yes, the myth of security.

In my book ‘A Foolish Odyssey’ published a few years back, I wrote a chapter titled ‘The Myth Of Security’.

And it struck me the other day that my thoughts behind that title have only become stronger during these past weeks.

First here’s an extract from that chapter;

It’s a strange phenomenon, and one I’ve come across many times when folks have questioned the life we live now. They feel secure. They have a good job and a nice house, they take holidays, they’re living life right. 
They talk about owning their own home and yet few of them do. They’re years away from that, and until that mortgage is paid off they’re really just renting from the bank. It happened to Paula and me in 1991, and it could happen again, to anyone. If you can’t pay that monthly mortgage the bank will take the place off you. You’ll be homeless. And how do you pay the mortgage? With a monthly paycheque from that steady job. But all it takes to change that is the stroke of a pen. A pen held by someone you’ve never met, someone who doesn’t know you exist and doesn’t care anyway. Maybe your car comes with the job, that goes too. How much have you got in your savings account? How long would that last if you tried to continue your current lifestyle without an income? Are you one paycheque away from you and your family being broke and homeless? Crazy talk? Maybe. Likely to happen? Probably not. But it doesn’t change reality. If you live like that you’ve delegated your happiness and quality of life, along with the well being of your loved ones. You have no control over your destiny. Is that security? 
There’s an old saying about having all your eggs in one basket. Living like this takes it further. You’re not even holding that precious basket yourself.

BCoV most of us took a lot of things for granted.

We took it for granted that our jobs were safe.
We took it for granted our kids could go to school.
We took it for granted that the shops would be open.
We took it for granted we could go places.
We took it for granted we’d be looked after.

I could go on but there’s no need.

You know what you took for granted. So do I.

Later in that same chapter of ‘A Foolish Odyssey,’ I talked about our caveman instincts. How over the millennia the human species has evolved, but that part of our brain still lives in caves.

Most of the time those ancient instincts are kept well suppressed. But they’re still there. And when the reality of the virus started to come home our Neanderthal brains woke up. The virus became a sabre-toothed tiger stalking us every time we went outside our caves.
Our survival became paramount and we went into survival mode.
The world has changed though. Instead of cautious hunting expeditions into the forest, we made trips to the supermarket and fought for toilet rolls.

We did these things because whatever nonchalant brave face we put on, deep down we were frightened. Frightened for ourselves and frightened for our families.

We felt something else too; shock.

We felt shocked that this could have happened. We felt shocked that our lives could have been changed so much in so little time.

BCoV our security had seemed certain. The Virus showed us what that security really was, a falsehood, a fabrication, a myth.

The Virus has shown us something else as well. It’s shown us what’s important.

I’m guessing that if BCov, you’d been asked what was most important in your life, you’d have given different answers to those you’d give today.

The Virus has stopped the hamster wheels of many lives. We’ve been gifted an opportunity to re-evaluate, reset and do things differently.

In my next post, I’ll dive into this a bit deeper.

In the meantime. Stay safe and try to make the most of this crazy shit eh?

Published inBLOG

3 Comments

  1. Rob Rob

    Nothing stays the same!
    In the current circumstances I feel for those that have yet to read A Foolish Voyage and A Foolish Odyssey.
    None of us have yet gained the expected insights and learnings of A Foolish Escape so no pressure, then, on the Author! I, for one, am very much relieved in that the timeline (for publication) is now in place. So with much restrained eagerness keep that Quill flying.

  2. Eamon Eamon

    Neil,
    Great to read some more of your musings, I was inspired in many ways by A Foolish Odyssey and am also eagerly looking forward to your next book. In the meantime, keep the blog posts coming (but not if it stops you writing ya book!).
    Cheers,

  3. Michael West Michael West

    Hi Neil. Good to hear from you again…The trouble is I’m the type of person who wants to know what exactly has happened out of all the conflicting versions of it , while I can see that you seem to be the type of person who’ll do a certain amount of that , but ultimately says you can’t know all that right now, and that if you go on trying you’ll put off and off necessary decisions you have to make for oneself and family based on what we DO know, however incomplete this knowledge may be. .. Reading your two articles here has made me realise that there are personal decisions as well as correct analyses to be made. Which leads me to the question: is it possible to make the right personal decisions based on the law of probabilities in determining the ‘most likely’ analysis : or even a ‘hunch’?

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Copyright Neil Hawkesford 2020