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Coronavirus Reality Check: Shattered Illusions

In an article for The Atlantic, Charles Yu examines our attitude toward this global coronavirus pandemic. Many people describe this experience as unreal or surreal. Life before the pandemic was normal, was real. Yu asks if the opposite may be true and this crisis will shatter illusions about our current perspective on life:

The grand, shared illusion is that we are separate from nature. That life on Earth is generally stable, not precarious. That, despite what we know from the historical and geological and biological record, human civilization—thanks to advancements in science and medicine and social and governmental structures—exists inside a bubble, protected from the kind of cataclysmic event we are currently experiencing.

Yu issues a very stark reality check, which lines up with the Book of Revelation and the Christian world view, even though he makes no reference to God whatsoever:

Things don’t have to be resolved in a way that works out all right for us, or for our economy, for any particular systems or ways of living. Things aren’t necessarily going to be okay in a reasonable timeframe just because we want them to. To think otherwise is to succumb to the fiction, a sheltered, resource-rich mindset. ... After all the suffering and wreckage have subsided, one good thing for our long-term viability will be to have changed our ways of thinking. To have regained a humility.


Charles Yu, “The Pre-pandemic Universe Was the Fiction,” The Atlantic (4-15-20)

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