DEATH AND ALL HIS FRIENDS
All winter we got carried away over on the rooftops, let's get married. All summer we just hurried,
so come over, just be patient, and don't worry.
No I don't want to battle from beginning to end. I don't want a cycle of recycled revenge. I don't want to follow Death and all of his friends.
And, in the end, we lie awake, and we dream of making our escape.
- Coldplay, "Death and All His Friends"
Words fail me as I watch my country turn lock-step into a phalanx of lemmings, marching toward a certain death. In all of the pandemic fiction that's arisen through the years, the assumption has always been that when the big one dropped people would take it seriously, politicians would lead, and the scientists would find a solution eventually. I'm not sure anyone would have imagined that the people wouldn't believe, the politicians wouldn't lead, and the scientists would be silenced.
But here we are.
The cliff looms ahead.
Though, I keep thinking of that scene in Deep Impact when the asteroid piece hits in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and for a brief moment the fireball splashing into the ocean is awe-inspiring, silent and beautiful like a Dali painting. And then the tsunami rushes toward the coast, and the roar of armageddon fills the air.
We're in that moment, watching as the asteroid touches down. It's calm and surreal, sitting in my backyard and listening to the birds as they sing away, as the breeze shuffles the leaves of the trees. But 40,000,000 Americans are out of work, with millions more joining their ranks every week. At least 70,000 Americans are dead, with thousands more joining them every day. America has opened back up, with millions of Americans pouring into parks and beaches, and nail salons in an act of stupid defiance. Like a child breaking her toys to protest bedtime, we've collectively decided that destruction is preferable to changing our way of life. We've decided to keep slamming against the rocks rather than change direction.
Words fail me.
I can't describe the grief, the wonder, the rage at this gleeful embrace of Death and all his friends. We march lockstep toward the tsunami, thinking we're getting a nice day at the beach.
I hope we packed our umbrellas because I think we're going to get wet.