Well, here we are, living in our very own science fictional dystopia. All of my near future travel plans have been cancelled (thankfully with no loss of money). That means no Swecon convention in Stockholm, and no Moving Trans History Forward conference in Canada. It also means no holiday with Kevin. Most of my forthcoming meetings and training gigs have also been cancelled, and I expect the rest of those in March to follow suit quickly. I also expect Eastercon to be cancelled, and I have very little else booked until the last week of April. I also have plenty of work that I can be doing at home, and enough savings to survive a few months. Having a very small home with very low rent has its advantages.
So I am well set up to self-isolate and not risk helping spread the virus. I have had a mild cold all week, but nothing like flu symptoms. Nevertheless I have been keeping to myself as much as possible so as not to worry people. From now on I stay at home. It will be an interesting experience, and I thought I should document it. If nothing else it will be useful research fodder for anyone writing dystopian fiction in the future.
Obviously I will run out of fresh food (meat, fruit & veg) in a week or so. But I do have enough dried, tinned and frozen food to last much longer. I also have a large bottle of vitamin pills that I bought when Hard Brexit was a worry. And of course I have plenty of coffee, tea and whisky.
I don’t expect to be missing the social contact. Most of my friends live far away and we communiate mostly via email and social media. If I need other voices, I have plenty of things I want to watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Disney+ launches here in just over a week.
What does concern me is staying fit. My home is very small so there’s not a lot of room to exercise. Time to put the Wii back into action, I think.
My other concern is what sort of world I will emerge into when this is all over. Unlike most world governments, the people in Westminister are currently planning on letting the virus run riot through the population. Indeed, they are encouraging this. The theory seems to be that healthy, productive citizens will contract the virus, recover, and become immune, whereas the elderly and infirm will die off leaving the population fitter and healthier as a result. That’s the sort of nightmare nonsense I expect to find in a Charlie Stross novel, not in real life.
It is not a case of hoping no one that you know dies. It is a question of wondering which of your friends and relatives will die.
So it is all a bit up in the air. We do indeed live in Interesting Times. Stay healthy, people. Here’s hoping that once we have got through this people will see the likes of Trump and Johnson for the amoral opportunist charlatans that they are.