If Doomsday Comes

I just finished reading a book where all technology, including power grids, were knocked out by a coronal mass ejection from the sun. Checking on the possibility of such a catastrophe, I learned that “scientists,” whatever that means, are concerned about such a possibility, and are trying to create systems that can withstand such powerful ejections from the sun.

Oddly, humans are not affected by any of these CME’s. Supposedly, if we are standing on Earth, within Earth’s atmosphere, we are protected. So if we were to be subjected to CMEs powerful enough to destroy technology, we would be safe. Safe from the sun’s emissions, that is. Not safe from each other.

You’d think that in a worldwide crisis, people would come together with a one-for-all and all-for-one attitude, but I don’t see it. In any emergency, there will be people who look for ways to help, and those who look for ways to capitalize on the mess.

Because of The Bob, and the resulting shortages, and because of the arctic blast we were subjected to, and various other emergencies, you’d think I’d be more concerned about stocking up, but I just don’t seem to see the point. If there were something that would knock out the power grids, the media, transportation, availability of food, gas, and supplies, there’s no amount of things I could stockpile that would get me through months, even a year, of deprivation. It’s a physical impossibility.

Mostly, I don’t care. I’ve lived through a lot of crises that didn’t actually happen. Too often, news folk and politicians titillated us with possible doomsday scenarios that went nowhere. Even with The Bob, even considering as many problems as there were, the end result was nothing like the original projection of 80% of people on earth dying from the disease. (It’s this projection that panicked the various politicians and made them close down cities and towns. I’m not sure what they would have done if they had been given a truthful scenario. Probably shrugged their shoulders and continued as usual. Unless, of course, their reelection was at stake; then we’d hear from them.)

I suppose if I really believed in a massive doomsday rather than a personal one (after all, each of us does have a personal doomsday in our future), I might be more concerned, but even then, I’m not sure what I could do. I am set up for a week, maybe two. I have camping equipment, including a solar cell phone charger, that would help make things easier, but beyond that? I’m not sure it’s worth it. Do I really want to survive in a society that basically has to start over? That’s assuming I could survive. If I had stocked up on anything, chances are, someone with guns and a driving need for survival at all costs would have taken them from me.

I’m sure I’ve talked about this same subject — survival — too many times, but it’s one that seems to come up again and again, either in books, on the news, or even in conversations with people.

If I were young, perhaps I would feel differently, but from what I remember back in cold war years, nuclear threats, Asian flu and swine flu seasons, terrorist attacks, and all the rest of it, I didn’t feel any differently.

Then again, who knows. None of us truly knows how we will act when doomsday comes. Perhaps I will be the one with a shotgun, desperately running around stealing people’s carefully hoarded stocks.

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What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God

Social Distancing

How odd to be told to do what I have always had a tendency to do — practice social distancing. For others, this might be a bad thing, but it plays right into my psyche. For the past year, I have been attending many social activities, meeting people, enjoying having friends and being part of a community, which has been great, but I like this lifestyle, too. It fits well.

Odder, too, to think that the whole country is now living my life. Staying away from people who are sick. Staying home when I am sick or even just have the faintest tickle in my throat or even just because. Washing my hands. Oh, and stocking up and hoarding. I bought eight cans of tuna!!! I was only going to get one package of four cans, but I like two kinds — the white albacore and the chunk light — so I got both. But that was about it. I didn’t need anything else, and anyway, I have no place to store it. (I’ve designated one very narrow cupboard in my kitchen for a “pantry.”)

Normally, I’d be doing a lot of walking since that’s a good solitary activity, but it’s been cold and gloomy here, which doesn’t do much to motivate me, but oddly, the bulbs in my yard seem to like it. Several of them are popping up, which makes me feel good. I should walk anyway, despite the gloom, but I tweaked my knee when I was sleeping so I’ve been babying it. (Isn’t that the silliest thing? I fell splat on the ground, and didn’t even get a bruise. I turn over in bed and hurt my knee. Sheesh. That’s the part of growing older — or one of the parts — I can do without.)

So, what am I doing in my exile? What I always do. Fix what needs fixing — in this case, replacing the cord in one of my Roman shades. Read what is available to read. If I get bored, I have hundreds of movies to watch, but mostly, I’ve been playing on the internet.

I’ve been staying away from FB — there’s not much good that can come of all the virus talk, and there’s not much else going on except for the usual political outrage — which gives me plenty of time for other things, like making mandalas with the online mandala maker I found. Since the purpose of mandalas (besides beauty and symmetry) are to transform ordinary minds into enlightened ones and to aid in healing, it seems the perfect pursuit for this particular time. I wouldn’t mind being more enlightened, and the world can use some healing.

I hope you’re taking care of yourself and that you’re enjoying a quieter time.

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.