A Numbers Game

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.

Almost an alternate universe ago

Almost an alternate universe ago

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.

This is what eight months looks like – I might’ve skipped a day here and there but this is what I did, every day

This is what eight months looks like – I might’ve skipped a day here and there but this is what I did, every day

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.

40 comments on “A Numbers Game

  1. Sue Vincent says:

    Even the slightest semblance of control went out of the window long ago in this one. We can only control how we act in face of what we see…

    Liked by 3 people

  2. That’s only the recorded ones.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am trying very hard to not think about the numbers, they are far too scary…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The numbers have indeed become meaningless

    Liked by 2 people

  5. That’s all life has become in the U.K. just waiting for those daily numbers.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. quiall says:

    I am optimistic enough to believe that we will make it to 2050. But I’m bloody sure I won’t and I am not sad about that. Not fatalistic, realistic. But I believe in hope even if that’s all we have. I am an unapologetic optimist.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Widdershins says:

      We won’t ‘desrtoy the planet’ as the headlines and attention-seeking folk like to phrase it, but we have pretty much guaranteed that is uninhabitable for many of the species currently pootling around on it … and will continue to do so.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Roadtirement says:

    I am with Derrick.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kate Duff says:

    Burn the numbers – the only thing that we can control is ourselves, and even in that we are limited somewhat. Our thoughts, our actions, what we say and how we say it, that’s about it. But at least by choosing our thoughts carefully we can co tell our feelings and reactions, stay well Widds.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. acflory says:

    All we can do for now is hunker down and endure, but by god, Widds…once this is over I am going to be part of the change for a better world. No idea how, but we have to change things. We really do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Widdershins says:

      If it wasn’t for the runaway effects of the climate crisis overtaking us now, I might agree with you about changing the world, I truly believe we’re out of time. (it’s just that it’s been so slow moving – relatively speaking – that even now most people won’t/can’t see it) The best we can do is to create enclaves of sanity and become caretakers of the truth of the land. Work the magic of whatever our belief systems determine to be our Path in ways that keep us safe, and draw to us like-minded folk. There’s no point bloodying our Selves against that which simply absorbs our blood as it’s due.

      Liked by 1 person

      • acflory says:

        Given how Australia has faired I should have climate change front and centre in my thoughts too, but it’s been so easy to forget that Sword of Damocles hanging over our heads. And I have to admit, a part of me just can’t believe we will collectively let it happen. I know it’s naive, and god knows, humanity hasn’t done much to give me faith, yet I guess I /want/ to believe.
        I know China is powering ahead with climate targets. Maybe now that Biden is in office the US will gear up as well. If those two giants were to compete on which can do the better job, we might still have a chance of fending off the worst effects. Maybe. Don’t give up hope. Miracles do happen every now and then.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I didn’t record them, but for months I looked at the numbers several times a day. Now, not so much. My form of Corona fatigue. But at least my fatigue doesn’t include no longer being careful or wearing a mask, as it seems many are inclined to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. selizabryangmailcom says:

    The mind does shut down after a while, unable to process. Kudos to you for attempting something, anything, to soothe your soul. You may have resented it in the end, but at least you weren’t rebelling in ways that may have harmed the other souls around you…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Our county is one of less populated in California, but we have managed to become #5 on the list for the worse infection rate. My gosh, the numbers have climbed crazily since Thanksgiving, with several deaths in the last week. Now the anti-maskers are mau-mauing the vaccine. They’re so disgusting.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jay says:

    I’m protecting my health by staying away from as many humans as possible.
    I’m protecting my mental health by staying way from alarming numbers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Widdershins says:

      I’m with you about avoiding humans … I think I could count the people I’ve had more than a three word conversation with this year … last year 🙂 … on one hand, with a couple of fingers to spare.

      Like

  14. None of this has surprised me, sadly. Humans are the strangest species on the planet. I track some numbers, mostly the local ones, but I’m incapable of changing them, beyond adding myself to the stats (hopefully). The Biden Admin. just discovered this morning that Trump had NO plan whatsoever for addressing the pandemic, none at all. They have to start from scratch. So, what I said about humans…
    Hang in there. I still believe this will come to an end.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Widdershins says:

      This event will certainly come to a… well, some sort of conclusion, then there’ll be another, and another … even if we only look at the cascading effects of the climate crisis and nothing else, the next couple of decades are going to be ugly.
      We humans will adapt, eventually, I hope. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. the only number you need to be concerned about is “one”……………go out into the forest and be one.

    Liked by 1 person

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