I am normally getting all cosy and Christmassy by now, but Loki kind of sums up how I am feeling about Christmas this year. Meh. Bleh. Dare I say… humbug?? This used to be my favourite time of year but Covid has actually managed to put me off Christmas. Not because of the restrictions and all the hardships we’ve gone through these past almost two years (including last Christmas) because, although it’s been very difficult at times, well this is also simply the harsh reality of living through a pandemic. And if we’re lucky we will end up living through it.
Rant Alert! You have been warned… 😉
I don’t actually have fond memories of happy Christmases growing up, because there weren’t any, but once I got out on my own I decided to start creating my own traditions. And what I have always loved about Christmas, why it became important to me, was that once a year people stopped and remembered to care for each other, to show kindness, to celebrate loved ones. And yeah I know, naysayers like to tell me people should be like this ALL the time, not just once a year, but you know, people are people. I just appreciated that at least once a year we got this reminder. And yeah I also know how commercialised it’s become, blah blah. What I’m saying is that MY Christmas became a time to reflect and remember what is really important, and especially that the most important things in life aren’t things. It was also an annual renewal of my faith in humankind. Until now.
Since Covid, or to be more accurate, since the first Covid lockdown was lifted here at the end of June 2020, my faith in humankind has deteriorated to (maybe) the point of no return. I know that this pandemic has been massively mismanaged from the beginning, and much of that is not our fault (depending on who you voted for) BUT other than those first few months of seeming global solidarity… what the fuck happened? Suddenly it was all about WE WANT OUR NORMAL BACK with people whining like spoiled entitled brats because they couldn’t take their summer holidays. Then it became all about “saving Christmas” and so against all common sense people travelled all over the fucking globe TO HAVE CHRISTMAS thereby spreading the new “India/Delta” mutation far and wide.
And this Christmas it’s no different. After a year of international tourist travel going through the roof again, borders wide open, and seeing Sevilla inundated with travellers who DID NOT HAVE TO BE VACCINATED TO COME HERE it’s now back to the old “gotta save Christmas” bullshit. I mean, I am looking at all these whiny holiday-demanders and, to be fair, all those other people who are just desperate to see loved ones again, and wonder why they can’t see how they are being manipulated. I’m also annoyed at all of them.
Can you imagine what would have happened if we’d been told in March 2020 that this was going to be a MINIMUM two year situation? People would have lost their minds. OR maybe they would have seen the reality of what was happening as something to seriously prepare for and that they would have to let go of their version of Normal for the time being for the greater good. And of course governments everywhere should have paid people to stay home for as long as it took. And yes of course there is enough money for this, just start taxing billionaires. For example.
Instead it has turned political, with social media fanning the flames that divide us. Because we need to be divided in order for the present structure of global power to remain in power. Meanwhile they play us like so many cheap violins, and with each stroke of the bow we go into a frenzy about our rights, our normal, our lives… my god when did people living in a democracy forget about civic responsibility? NO you do not automatically have rights. You have to live in society as a responsible member of that society and do what is best for that society. And yes, even sometimes even if you don’t happen to like it. It’s called being a grown-up.
Back to Christmas. One of the most triggering times of the year, at least in the western hemisphere. I mean I have honestly tried not to be judgemental about people using the holiday season as an excuse to behave selfishly and care more about “saving” (their own personal) Christmas than saving lives and caring about others. Same with anyone who thinks they “deserve” international holidays during a pandemic. I have tried. But you know what? I can’t help it. I can’t help but think… you could have waited.
And for everyone thinking we are ever going to get our Old Normal back. Don’t kid yourselves. That party is over. This is the hangover. Time to sober up and get back to work. There’s a whole new world to build.