On Sunday the 8th March, 2020, I started a list of dates and numbers. The first number was 106,369. Every day thereafter I recorded another number, as well as the difference between the new number and the previous day’s number.
On the 1st of June 2020, the number was 6,274,136. An increase 101,688 from the previous day’s tally.
(I never recorded a third set of numbers. That would’ve broken me long before my meltdown at Winter solstice)
Even back in March the numbers were already out of control. The everyday public didn’t know that, but those of us who were following the science realised that something was amiss.
It wasn’t until Wednesday the 19th August 2020 that I managed to rein in my impulse to record a daily number. Thereafter I only noted them every week or so.
The last time was on Thursday 7th January 2021 – 87,753,382. By that time numbers were meaningless.
Like most humans who are alive on the planet in this Age, I was brought up to believe, (also reinforced by every societal structure around me) that taking action, any action, was tantamount to being in control. (humans aren’t very good at being without ‘control’, being power-less – we tend to make all sorts of ill-considered decisions)
I no longer wanted to use an action, my own personal version of the numbers game, to ease my psyche through a global catastrophe (another one – as if we didn’t have enough, even before the 8th March) that I was powerless to stop anyway.
What started out as a ritual, became a habit that, at the end, I came to resent. I didn’t want to look up the numbers. I didn’t want to remind myself of how our species abysmally mutated individualism had failed, yet again, to avert another fiasco of our own making. (honestly, I’ll be pleasantly surprised if we make it to the year 2050 without the cost being reckoned not in hundreds of millions, but billions, of lives)
The numbers are still out there, expanding almost exponentially, and I am in here, making sure, as best I can, that the very uncertain near future, doesn’t blindside me …
However, you know what they say about last words being famous. I suppose we shall see what tomorrow brings.
As for those three bits of paper with numbers all over them? I feel a Funeral Pyre coming on.