On Sunday, I drove past a church and paused when I saw a long line in front of the door. Upon closer inspection I saw the sign on the door “Mass at Capacity”. The people standing outside in the cold were waiting for their opportunity to go to mass, as in our current lockdown stage, churches are operating at limited to no capacity.
Back in the summer, when the powers that be said it would be all right if we met with small bubbles or cohorts, I was walking in the park and I saw an older woman approach a younger woman on the pathway. The younger woman started to put a mask on, asking “Mom, can I give you a hug? I’ll keep my mask on.”
Today, leaving the same park, I saw a woman take two steps towards another woman in the parking lot – pause and look around. Once she was satisfied no one was watching, she quickly hugged the other woman, then backed away quickly, eyes darting around to make sure that no one was going to cause a fuss.
Is that the kind of world we are living in right now? A world where touching another human being is illegal?
When we first became low-key preppers, started learning how to turn tomatoes into salsa, how to grow our own food and build fires (survival stuff, you know)… we really thought we were preparing for a dystopian future that would include food shortages, grid failures and burning cities.
While it’s true that those difficulties are possible (if not already happening to some) we never thought we would be living in a dystopian world where the simple act of hugging your friends and family would be enough to get bylaw services on the phone. A world where shopping at Walmart is legal but leaving your isolation to hug your mom at a park is not. A world where gathering in long lines at Costco is safe, but grieving a recent loss with immediate family is dangerous and prohibited. A world where ‘mass is at capacity’ for the safety of the many, but flying to Hawaii on a plane stuffed with strangers is a reasonable risk.
How do you prep for a SHTF scenario that isn’t the grid going down, but instead the proverbial flying shit is the banning of connection with your fellow human beings?
I’m still working on the answer to that question.