I T HAS BEEN a year considering that the pandemic begun to affect Western societies. Here is how one columnist coped as the months unfolded.
February/March: In the beginning, all was confusion. In the early stages a “last days of Saigon” feel pervaded the city centre. The trains and workplaces became steadily less crowded; increasingly more shops closed for lack of staff. Moms and dads turned into hunter-gatherers, frantically foraging in the supermarket aisles for the last supplies of pasta. Effective scavengers’ trolleys overflowed with rolls of toilet tissue. Individuals were braced for dystopia.
Workplace employees quickly captured up on the disaster-recovery prepares they had actually formerly neglected and were grateful if they were able to get a good broadband connection. Bartleby remembered that he had left all his research back at the workplace and made a sheepish go back to a near-empty building. Heading back out with a rucksack of books and papers, he seemed like an extremely nerdish barbarian participating in the sack of Rome.
April: Some individuals were still having a hard time to master Zoom etiquette. Faced with an editorial meeting on a bank vacation, Bartleby integrated it with a soothing river walk. At some point, his phone (while still in his pocket) became unmuted, suggesting that his heavy trudge, and heavy breathing, was audible to every other individual on the call. In euphoric lack of knowledge, he returned house to a blizzard of e-mails, tweets and WhatsApp messages telling him to shut up. Sure enough, “you’re on mute” and “please mute yourself” became the breakout phrases of 2020.
May: Perhaps th