Friday, July 10, 2020

The Final Solution: The Bubble Effect

Little fragments of the old life appear out of nowhere. They’re like the oasis hallucinated by the feverish and thirsty traveler, evanescent bits of the past that dissolve as soon as you try to touch them. In reality, the isolation created by a highly contagious deadly disease has created a world of pods, in which small groups usually of one or two souls attempt to navigate their way from one hopefully safe space to the other. Still one hangs onto the illusory moments, a car parked beside a highway under an old oak, as the broadcasts of NPR or the BBC provide a life line to a remembered world of sanity, civility and society. Even though the voices in all probability constitute a mosaic with the whole being more than the sum of the parts (consisting of lonely broadcasters suffering their own form of technologic confinement), there’s the ineluctable feeling the radio waves beaming their signal are like the path marks of a mountain trail leading from wilderness to civilization. For a moment there’s hope. You hear the Doppler effect of sirens fading into the distance and the lowering of the pitch. You’re assured the world will continue to exist as long you’re there to perceive it.

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