Monday, March 23, 2020
For the past hour, I’ve tried to settle down to sleep. Considering that I didn’t get up until noon yesterday, it shouldn’t surprise me that I cannot sleep now. What time will I get up this morning? Who knows? Since I retired from working nearly 7 years ago, I’ve made it a habit to set my alarm for 9:00 AM, Monday through Friday, to maintain a regular schedule. It doesn’t always work—sometimes I turn off the alarm and go back to sleep. But it is a help. Still, I often slip into these Vampire Hours, where I’m up most of the night and sleep until noon or so.
Tonight, a feeling of déja vu has been lurking under the surface like a shark about to rise out of the water to snag its prey. Not unlike the many scenes from the Jaws movies. And that’s just it: I keep remembering snatches of scenes from every disaster/apocalypse movie and television show I’ve ever seen! The overarching themes of these productions are always the same: the sudden, unpredicted threat to humanity, whether it’s a monster tornado, an asteroid heading to earth, or the appearance of aliens. There’s always that one person who sees the threat long before everyone else does. The general populace expresses all the denial, fear, angst, bravery, cowardice, greed, prejudice, self-preservation instincts, altruism, and every other human attribute that exists in humankind.
It’s not just the movies, either. I keep thinking about all the real threats to humanity we’ve gone through: wars, slavery, pestilence, disease, ethnic cleansings, tribalism, nationalism, etc. And I ask myself: Why haven’t we learned from the past? Why do we keep reacting the same way every single time, as if it’s the first time?
If anyone has an answer to my questions, I’m all ears….