Cancel 2020

If this is your inclination, I can sympathize.

The year 2020 was a beast of a year, one most of us would prefer to forget. The summer bushfires, principally the consequence of human-induced climate change, were, by any measure you care to name, the worst ever seen in Australia. B’Jesus, we thought that was bad enough. Then Covid came along.

Like the bushfires, Covid is, according to informed evidence, the unintended consequence of human disregard for the environment. Covid dictated its grizzly terms for the bulk of the year 2020. And it’s not over yet. Covid was and still is the dooziest of doozies. It intends to stay the course well into 2021. Humans are such obliging hosts.

We all agree on one thing. We’ve had enough. We need a break for Pete’s sake.

Hold it right there, won’t you? Who the hell is this Pete? Perhaps we can pin the blame on him. We need a scapegoat. That way we can avoid shouldering any responsibility ourselves.

There’s the rub. If we are not careful, the legacy of Covid will be worse than Covid itself. In general, people in isolation have minds like empty vessels, susceptible to being filled by any crackpot conspiracy theory, blame game, or xenophobic notion doing the rounds out there. If face-to-face human interaction won’t fill minds, the nutters in cyberspace will. And they are very, very active. They sense easy pickings.

So it is we’ve been encouraged to believe ‘greenies are arsonists’, ‘5G causes Covid’, and ‘science is crap’. We are constantly warned of ‘China virus’, ‘Kung Flu’, and ‘deep state’. And there are memes circulating that are even more outrageous than the above, memes verging on the deranged.

Have you heard, for example, that ‘Satanic blood-drinking Hollywood elites’, are behind X, where X is your catastrophe of choice? You mean you haven’t heard? Then, dude, it’s high time you did some research on the internet. It’s so so easy. Disengage your brain. Suspend your capacity to discern. Get yourself on line. Believe whatever you see there. Don’t ask questions. Don’t you know the internet never lies?

Don’t be fooled. There are certifiable nutjobs in the seedy by-ways of the cyber world, determined to massage their sick egos by passing off, onto the frazzled and isolated gullible, their deceptively simple but poisonous fantasies. We should give them the widest of berths. If we don’t engage our powers of reason, calmly address the real problems that afflict us, and make every effort to fill our minds with thoughts respectful of our fellow humans, fellow humans – indeed – of all stripes, then we run the risk of falling prey to some seriously sick notions.

Then we could find 2021 is no better, and perhaps a great deal worse, than 2020.