Possible Outcomes for the End of The World

Life as we know it is ending. The world is not.

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I’ll be honest — I panicked. Everything I was working towards collapsed in a span of five days and with them, all my coping outlets. In the first 48 hours, I lost access to my campus and my graduation. Within 72 hours my favourite local spots and my art studio closed their doors and within 120 hours my job ceased to exist. All in the wake of COVID-19.

The reality of the matter? My privileged, Canadian circumstances did not prepare me for the end of the world as I knew it. However, my upbringing did equip me with the tactics to survive — including foresight.

Now, despite two breakdowns, an unpredictable projectionist attitude, and temporary lapses in character post initial isolation, I know that life will go on. In fact, I have come to the following conclusions and pondered a few realities that might arise as we settle into life with our new virus.

Artificial and virtual reality may become a fundamental element of human connection, should isolation practises become legally regulated around the world.

I’m sure the conversation has risen with friends or colleagues about how video games and VR are taking ahold of youth. Or about how cyberspace is becoming less of a metaphor and more of a substantial component of our identity. We are not foreign to the augmented realities afforded by technologies, however, the vastness of the cyber-citizen may require shifts in recognition.

A wide array of needs are being met online, including virtual words that allow navigation and sociality with avatars. Porn industries are profiting from the new dedication to VR online sex videos. Doctors, therapists, and educators are profiting from online classes, offices, and sessions. Groceries can be delivered to our door and every type of entertainment can be accessed on-demand, from our homes. We are already devoted to life online, soon we may not have a choice.

Yet, we are still really only steps away from virtual habitation.

Right now, as it stands, there are no global protocols in place the govern the internet as an entity. Laws and regulations are subject to country, district, state, or province. Therefore, an entire governmental regime of online citizenship would need to shape up to accommodate the new digital world.

Perhaps this is what cryptocurrency was prepared for?

“If you just look at the medium and what it’s doing, we are basically broadcasting human senses to your conciseness. We are duplicating perception.”

— Chris Milk

Perhaps this massive economic disruption caused by COVID-19 will create a new era of global (or wide-stretched) communism or socialism.

As the trying times of COVID-19 are predicted to reach far into the future, with no feasible end in sight, new ways of living are being expedited. Businesses are closing down, universities are adapting to online modes of teaching, elementary schools, churches, concerts, libraries and museums are all closing. Therefore, a major economic crash is hurtling towards life like a meteor.

Completely unable to survive in this new economy is the capitalist regime.

Actively, the Canadian government is mitigating billions of dollars to ensure unemployment insurance is available to all Canadians affected by the virus. Complimentary to this, federal governments are petitioning lowered or alleviated rent and mortgages, some even suggesting that rent should not be essential during the lockdown — considering that a vast majority of Canadians will be unable to work in the following weeks or months.

The ramifications of these abrupt changes will plummet the economy is ways familiar to the great depression. However, putting the entire country on EI is not sustainable. Instead, a possible rejuvenation of life may come in the form of a new governmental regime — queue socialism.

Consider this reality: every household contributes to society in specific, beneficial ways. Rather than serving private gains, the production also goes into the wellbeing of the entire community. As a result, most properties become governmental and accommodation is guaranteed to those who contribute to society. Naturally, communities would become smaller and sustainable, with demands being mostly met by local entities.

While this would drastically change things like international travel, including vacations and luxury outings, it would also allow for a realignment of economic dispersion and minimize the economic divide present in capitalist societies today. Thus introducing things like free, open-access universities, galleries, and (probably) pharmaceuticals. However, the sacrifice of individuality and identity is at stake.

Democracy is the road to socialism.

— KARL MARX

A boom of hobbyists, inventors, artists, and cultural impactors are about to emerge.

Many of the world's most terrible eras nurtured the most astounding contributions to art and culture in all of history. The Great Bubonic Plague led to artistic marvels like the Sistine Chapel and Santa Maria del Fiore. The Great Depression and world wars introduced the industrial revolution and with it things like Film industries, travel trains, and post-war literature (ie., Lord of the Rings). Chattel slavery introduced African influence into music, creating Afro-Caribbean beats, hip-hop, and the world's first self-made female millionaire, Miss C.J. Walker.

Now, I’m not saying that bad things happening is inherently a good thing. I am, however, noting that human beings are incredibly resilient and able to create amazing things in the face of extreme adversity.

With people experiencing radical shifts in life, one major consequence of this virus is an abundance of unaccounted for time. Being unemployed, self-isolated, and confined to your homes means that there is a lot of space available to create something new. Or to visit a hobby that you neglected. Maybe it’s time to finish writing your novel or to finally learn to play that old piano in the living room that’s collecting dust. Perhaps you have plenty of films to watch and books to read. This could be a great time to learn yoga or discover a new world philosophy.

There are still many things that are relatively new to human beings, like electricity or relationship theories. Maybe its time to create something substantial for humanity.

Right now, as always, you have an undetermined amount of time. Do something useful with it.

If humans stay indoors for a few months, relatively immobilized and otherwise undestructive, it might help save the environment and create a more sustainable world.

Think about it this way, fewer auto-motors in transit means fewer gas emissions. Fewer people in transit means less waste and litter and more resource consciousness. If everyone is indoors, single-use items like plastic utensils, plastic lunch bags, straws, convenience store water bottles and wrappers are replaced by reusable kitchen-ware.

At the same time, people are more likely to prepare their meals at home, thus creating healthier human beings and adjusting diets to accommodate slower-moving lifestyles.

Border control and the economy will change the food industry, likely reducing the amount of meat that is distributed every single day. Drastically reducing the amount of water used to fuel meat production on a global scale, alleviating the global water crisis. Therefore reducing the destruction of tropical rain forests and fields necessary to create fertile fields for the globalization of products like meat and soy.

The exploitation of nations may decline as major tech companies lose demand due to poor economic structures, therefore reducing the amount of child and slave labour in the world, while reducing the exploitation of natural resources.

“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.”

Fred Rogers

The main points here are:

Artificial and virtual reality may become a fundamental element of human connection, should isolation practises become legally regulated around the world.

Perhaps this massive economic disruption caused by COVID-19 will create a new era of global (or wide-stretched) communism or socialism.

A boom of hobbyists, inventors, artists, and cultural impactors are about to emerge.

If humans stay indoors for a few months, relatively immobilized and otherwise undestructive, it might help save the environment and create a more sustainable world.

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
Albert Einstein

Editor-in-Chief | Journalist | Creative Director. Everything here is inspired by conversations with friends.

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