Musing on Apathy.

All over the world people are dying, every second of every hour of every day. This is an undisputed fact. However i’m not sure if there’s ever been a time in our species’ existence in which our youth, were no longer impacted by news of such a nature. I come from the generation of people who spent every day growing up by being fed information, on all sorts of topics. However the main one (or at least the main theme) has always prevalently been death. We sat in cars on long road trips hearing about collisions and stabbings, watched firebombs fall upon our country’s enemies, and we bore witness to countless atrocities through either video or simply secondhand accounts of reporters/police.

Yet everyone is constantly arguing. They argue over if we’ve become desensitized to violence and this is a distraction, a red herring. What humanity has become desensitized to isn’t violence, it’s death.

When I first heard about the Coronavirus in China, it was in a meme…

That’s right…..

11 million people quarantined.

Unaware if they could be next,

or if they’re already a dead man walking.

This is a travesty.

Imagine what that would be like, just for a second.

You’re among 11 million people and there is a deadly contagion spreading.

You can’t run from it.

You can’t hide.

You can’t so much as cough for fear of being lynched by those who are so dedicated to staying healthy.

You don’t know what they might do to you.

There are people dropping in the streets.

Strangers.

Loved ones.

Everywhere is death and you can’t escape.

Now stop imagining that, you don’t need to imagine it because there are videos from reporters and even just kids with cell phones; of the very things of which I just described.

There are videos of people fighting in grocery stores as they stock up for self-isolation in the hopes of staying healthy. I’ve seen clips of people collapsing in malls, streets, aid centres, sidewalks, restaurants. I’ve seen clips of a huge quarantine zone in front of some sort of college/university/school. I’ve seen clips which upon translation reveal the speaker talking about how the hospitals are overflowing to the point that they’ve set up multiple zones/tent cities as makeshift hospitals.

When I mention this virus to anyone above 30 they get very worried or grim and you can see that they’ve got a little bit of genuine concern about the situation; maybe just because they don’t want it spreading over here but they’re still concerned.

My generation?

Yea, not so much.

We are so incredibly desensitized to death that not a SINGLE person my age truly cared. Half the time i’d receive jokes about population control and how we’ve been needing a good plague, the other half would just nod and be like ‘wow, that’s crazy.’ before going back to talking about some sort of game or show. I even had one person mention how they’ve killed more people in five minutes of PubG than Coronavirus had in two days, so it, and I quote ‘Really needs to step it up a notch.’

How did we get to this point?

When did we become so blind and cold to the suffering of others?

Can’t you all feel it?

Do you simply not care?

I wonder if we’ve always been this way as a species and that apathy used to be a part of what allowed us to survive. I wonder if by removing most forms of violence from our common lives (duals, hunting, unprotected/unsanctioned fighting, etc) we eliminated the outlet in which we would naturally learn to fuel the separation; direct the apathy. Could it be that in our peace filled era the outlet became dictated be pre-existing emotional attachment?

That is to say, could we happily slaughter millions if we never had to see it happen? We automatically equate them to numbers in our heads rather than individual people and actually have to focus and conceptualize in order to feel for them. We feel the pain of the idea, not the person. At this point it’s just more text on a page, more pigments of light on a screen. Just as much a fairytale as any work of fiction until the day it turns up on our doorstep; in our own personal life.

I don’t know where I was going with this article/post but I just couldn’t sit back without writing anything on this subject. I’ve always been very attentive to the silent atrocities happening across this world, ever since 2011 when the Egyptian government barricaded protesters of their president into enclosed spaces and then drowned them in tear gas, rubber bullets, and water cannons. Journalists from other countries were beaten by police, imprisoned, and then eventually driven to the edge of cairo where they managed to escape (this was Jack Shenker – a correspondent for The Guardian, who was with 3 other reporters at the time). This managed to stay out of the North America’s public eye for most of its duration and i’m not sure if it ever even aired on our television news networks. Their government had even moved to suspend internet and cell-phone service all across the country in order to stop them from being able to organize any sort of opposition! Luckily they didn’t go through with it and I received snippets of live feed from parts of the Cairo protests due to an internet friend, and this had a huge effect on me.

In the effort to keep shedding awareness on these events, I could almost say I’m relieved to hear about updates for this outbreak. As it means something will actually have to be done about it, unless they choose to use it as a way of blinding us to something else. They do say that the easiest way to commit an atrocity is under the blanket of another/if there’s too much noise, a whisper could simply slip right by.

Should our eyes be elsewhere? Or is that delving too much into conspiracy theorist area?

I do know that I had to write this post/was motivated to write this post by the amount of hushing up that’s already been happening around the Coronavirus. Some of those clips I mentioned, I couldn’t find even hours later on the same day. There are even a few accounts that simply went dark, and by that I mean were completely removed/deleted and made to look as if they never existed. a friend of mine tried making a list of all the clips so they could edit together a video on the virus, almost every video in that list has henceforth been deleted. The only way we even noticed that original posters of the videos were disappearing, was by looking up their usernames from the few downloaded clips and getting no results. Anywhere. Anyways that’s all my conspiracist talk for now.

Please stay safe out there everyone, sending peace, love, and positive vibrations.

C.C.

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