This has been a truly strange year for a multitude of reasons. Things appear to be trending upward in terms of the pandemic and people are about to enter another period of increased isolation. Generally I think people are are of that dynamic, but are trying to figure out how to function well enough to manage things. One of the things about writing in this functional journal in the past was trying to discuss complex things in a very direct way. Things just go so sideways this year that even trying to write about complex emotions was not working. It was not enough to communicate a series of feelings. That in part was probably due to the crushing inability to move on from that perpetual upward trending that could be seen in news reports and on tracking websites. From that understanding it became harder to try to get a foothold between the emotions of being isolated and the uncertainty of what would happen next. Together those two forces have a powerful combined effect on society in general. Wondering what will happen next at such a mass scale is itself a watershed moment for the nation.
That last paragraph contained a very condensed version of my thoughts on the matter. Today I have been thinking about 2020 and what this year has meant. A preponderance of it is already gone, but the effects will linger on for some time. A generation will remember the uncertainty and the crushing feeling of failed containment. Maybe that feeling is what I’m trying to capture, but I simply do not have the capacity to summon words to adequately describe it. People strive forward for improvement to make contributions to the academy to build society. Our nation has been built based on a framework of expanding institutions. We witnessed those institutions challenged in ways that defied the very normative fluidity with which we expect civil society to function. Outside of the strain on institutions even our most basic supply chains began to break down. That realized the actual reliance people have on institutions even the ones sustained by capital exchanges for commodities. A very small percentage of the total population is capable of surviving without being able to shop for food. That is probably one of the driving factors to why the uncertainty this year is so confounding and worrisome.