Dispatches From The Bunker

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com and Steve’s Tumblr.  Find out more at my newsletter.)

I’m hunkered down at home, sheltering in place, like so many of you. At this rate I don’t expect to be going out like normal until the end of May. I’d like to blog more writing stuff, but it’s a bit challenging as my focus is different – getting through this.

The problem with “getting through this” is there is no going back to normal. Normal is gone and good riddance.

Normal led us to this mess. Poor planning, poor awareness, poor practice in too many areas led to suffering. Some countries have done well, but we’re seeing a lot haven’t.

Normal wasn’t as great as it seemed. We’re seeing these events rip the mask off of many flaws in America and other countries – underpaid but critical jobs, understaffed medical care and more.

Normal kept us from seeing better. How many of us realize we can work from home? That we could connect more efficiently? That delivery services could make life much easier (and save time, money, and maybe even pollution).

Normal can’t come back anyway. People will be dead, systems broken, new ideas present, problems revealed. There is no going back anyway.

The question is what we want to do next.

Look, we’ve found who we can rely on and who we can’t. We’ve seen the value of science over bullshit. We’ve seen that people really can rally to help out – and who will exploit the situation. We’re going to have a different world like it or not so damn well shape it.

And that’s overwhelming. It’s hard. It’s painful. We’re stressed, fearful, disrupted, and tired.

But know what? We might as well take what control that we can. We might as well take action when we can. We might as well do what we can. We can take our power ourselves and do something.

So here’s some thoughts for you – on an escalating scale.

  • Take a break. If you’re tired, take a break and rest. Recover your strength – that’s OK.
  • Check in with people regularly. Find out how they’re doing so you can rally.
  • Do something to help people – give a gift, make a meal, give a kind word. Even a minor action changes the world. One of my neighbors has a fruit tree and sets out the fruit for free.
  • Donate to a cause. Look there’s plenty of things out there to help with – your local city or state probably has some organizations to go to. Find one and give money. Its safe and remote.
  • Rally people. Introduce friends to each other. Connect people. Team people up.
  • Connect to a cause. Find a local or national org you can get involved in and DO IT. Start getting active now – and become empowered.

But through all of this? Keep up your creative work. Keep writing and drawing and cosplaying. Because that’s you, and you need to stay yourself.

We’ll get out of this bunker. Let’s make the world better.

Steven Savage