Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic

What if This is Normal?

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David in MN:
Consider that this is the path of life going forward because technology demands it. Really. The plow ushered in the agricultural revolution. Fossil fuels gave us the industrial revolution. The internet yielded the information age. Now we'll enjoy the "Solitary Age" and we have the technology to bring this revolution about.

Let's face it, you are safest alone in your home. And if it's not an over-hyped disease it will be something else. And with our modern technology of Zoom, Skype, Facetime, Amazon, Grubhub, etc. we have eliminated the need to go outside. And that's really for your own safety. Why, if you go out to dinner you might get in an accident or get a DUI. Much safer to order in. And why bother taking the risk of traveling to the great museums of the world when you can have a virtual tour?

Don't worry about interpersonal relationships, either. There's a Facebook group for that. And if you get lonely there's plenty of internet porn (that has skyrocketed in use lately) because you'll be single for life. What were you going to do, meet a girl at a bar? Meet someone online and take her to dinner and a movie? A baseball game? A concert?

And the kids... Remember all those decades where kids "needed" school to be "socialized" and learn in a classroom lest they end up like maligned home school kids? Turns out "distance learning" (definitely NOT homeschooling) is good enough. We shattered a decades long iron clad paradigm almost instantly and the ones begging for it are the teachers. As if they don't know that on the internet I'm somewhat less constrained to my local public school than I am in person.

For years we've heard that automation will take over our jobs and when you get fast food there won't even be a person there. Wrong. There might be people involved but you won't see them or speak to them while you wait at home for delivery. The technology is there and we're all proving it. I realize I'm coming off like a Philip K Dick novel but... maybe the Solitary Age is upon us.

Morning Sunshine:

--- Quote from: David in MN on September 30, 2020, 12:10:23 PM --- but... maybe the Solitary Age is RETURNED us.

--- End quote ---

we used to be more solitary.  more sedentary (as in, never travel more than 20 miles from where you were born, not couch potatoes).  More content in our family and village groups.  More content to make do with what we had and not covet what we did not.
Maybe we will see a return of local barbershop quartets that perform for fun on Friday night at the local park.  Maybe we will see a return of families moving closer to each other instead of scattering to the four corners.

David in MN:
I suppose we've been through this before. When my great grandfather was a cowboy in the Dakota Territory he'd go days without seeing another human. One wonders how he managed a family and I came to be. We also have relics of our isolated past that we celebrate. Santa comes down the chimney because the door was snowed shut. Imagine being stuck in one room all winter with the family. Not so surprising we developed a tradition of cooking all day.

But this is different. There are no technological barriers. There is nothing realistic preventing me from booking an overnight to Paris, having my beloved almond croissant on the Arc de Triumph, taking the Thalys to Brussels, and dining on steamed mussels. I even know the train stations to do so. Thing is that I can't. Not for any good reason; it's just that we have decided our role model is Rapunzel and I should enjoy a long corporeal existence locked in a tower eating navy beans out of a can.

Life is all about risk and reward. I skew a little more to the risky side of things but that's my choice. I'm going to eat raw meat and fish. I like oysters on the half shell. I'll get in a drinking contest with some Czechs in Germany. I like mountain climbing and boxing.

This is all gone now. I doubt it will come back. There's always a way to be "more safe" by not leaving home. I suspect my daughter's generation will marvel at some of the things I did as insurmountable tasks. I mean, I was capable of flying to Italy and chartering a boat on Lake Cuomo while drinking copious amounts of red wine and devouring the local (unpasteurized and unsafe) cheeses. That's done. Forget about talking to a captain and verbally making a deal for a tour; you can't even fly to Italy let alone get from Milan to the north lakes.

I really liked the cavalier traveling lifestyle I had in my 20s. It's dead. I doubt it's coming back. And even more mundane things are gone. This Rapunzel lifestyle will kill teenage rites of passage like the "first kiss". Who is going to pass a joint? Will it even matter if you can't go to your first concert?

A counterpoint is the RV and camping industry.  Sales have been through the roof.  The campground up the road sold out every available spot every day since the start of season (though capacity was dropped 25% for part of season to space things out).

Net, I dont think people are just going to  allow themselves to be locked inside.  They will just adopt other avenues, particularly those within their own country.  So maybe the jet set/city-centered lifestyle is replaced with a car based/rural-centered one.  In other words, a movement to low density vacationing vs high density.  One thing is for sure, cruiselines are dead for the near future.

Bigger concern I have is war with China.  If they release another virus on the world, the retribution will be great.  And I am not sure the EU will survive.  Brexit has been a big success and the supposed negatives like less easy cross-border travel and across country education were gutted by Covid.  There simply is no benefit to the EU and a lot of negatives.

David in MN:
Maybe. I can anecdotally say that our family has responded by massively using the cabin. An economist would call it the "substitution effect" whereby I couldn't do the trip to Spain I wanted in 2020 so I instead bought watertoys and took the kids out to the lake more often. It got goofy because there was so much travel upstate I would frequently be swapping cars with family and friends based on size needs.

There's also a bias because the other people you meet upstate who wanted to escape the city and go boating or just hang out in a less stressful atmosphere definitely skewed to downplay the seriousness of the situation. Not that they were being risky but that they were the type to have a beer by a campfire and share a laugh. It was a bit of therapy in a way.

But I do believe we have lost something and if you'll forgive the great grandson of a woman who emigrated from Berlin I do believe "Stadtluft macht frei". Don't get me wrong; I love the cabin and I'm happy to get up at 5 am to start the pulled pork and bake bread but there is something lost. I haven't had a really good plated meal at an upscale restaurant since January. That's a monthly event for the Mrs. and I. We delight trying new things and eating off each others' plates. We've had our theater tickets cancelled and we have thousands sitting in unused airfare vouchers.

I guess what I'm getting at is that I can provide an alternative at home. One thing about 2020 is that I spent a lot of time cooking with my daughter and tending the garden which she loved. I'd also like for her to see an art museum or an aquarium. There's a richness to life I feel we have lost and will not reacquire.


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