Who are you in isolation?
As more people lock into necessary self-isolation, people are developing new identities outside of the realms of their ordinary realities. Different groups of quarantined folks are emerging as we settle into this new normal. Which one are you?
1. The vampire
Your daily sleep schedule is around 5 AM to 2 PM. You're no longer a person; you're a creature of the night. You haven't put on jeans or seen the morning sun in weeks. 2 AM is when you come alive, and the sunrise is your best friend.
2. The organizer
You have eight mutual aid docs and seven community slacks open on your computer at all times. You just got back from dropping groceries at your neighbor's door and are vigorously washing your hands in preparation for a group Zoom call about the upcoming rent strike.
3. The self-care wizard
You know that quarantine is a time for self-improvement and you're set out to manifest it. When you're not making Instagram graphics about your morning routine or meditating, you're teaching $40 Zoom seminars about manifesting your best life and burning sage to cleanse out the pathogens.
4. The livestreamer
You're a musician, artist, or jokester who can't deal with letting your art go unseen by the world for more than a few minutes. Your livestream has quietly become your life, filling the void that the stage lights used to. Who are you outside of the glow of others' attention? You don't want to know.
5. The screen-timer
When you're not playing Animal Crossing, you're watching and tweeting about Netflix's Tiger King. Your screen time has tripled since you started quarantine, and now you feel that you're more real online than in the real world. You just started a TikTok channel for kicks and spend hours each evening taking screencaps from sh*tposting groups about how horny you are and posting them on your Instagram story, but really you're just happy to have unlimited, 24/7, judgment-free access to your video games. When the data wars come, you'll be the hottest commodity, because your entire identity has been spread around the Internet; but for now, you're in glassy-eyed heaven.
Tiger King Secrets That Will Leave You Speechless www.youtube.com
6. The doomsayer
You obsessively read The New York Times and relay ominous facts to unsuspecting family members and coworkers on group Zoom calls. You have read every single coronavirus story ever published and only want everyone to understand the pure hopelessness that you feel. When you're not reading the Times, you're reading the Post, and when you're not reading that you're reading Trump's Twitter feed. You're a masochist through and through, but… at least you're informed?
7. The hermit
You're not happy about the virus, but you're more than fine with the opportunity to stay inside. At the time of the apocalypse, you won't notice because you'll be indoors, in the dark. Away from people. Like you always wanted. Eventually, someone will find you in your moss-covered cabin and will try to ask you about the secrets of the universe; but, until then, you can relish the sweet sound of silence.
8. The prophet
You know that now is the time that the world has been waiting for, and you are ready to self-actualize and emerge as the leader of the post-virus realm. When you're not reading your own books over livestream, you're preparing your cult manifesto and waiting for the right moment to share the revelations you've always known with the wider world. You've taken to growing out your beard and wearing long flowing robes.
9. The chef
You are pouring your life into cooking. Chopping onions is your therapy and mangoes contain the truth of the universe.
10. The alcoholic
You're just like the chef, except alcohol (or perhaps coffee) has become the meaning of life. Day drinking? A go. Night-drinking? Also a go. Liquor stores are essential businesses, right?
11. The hoarder
You were the one who stole all the toilet paper from your local grocery store in the early days of panic, but you didn't stop there. You waited until the store restocked, then you sprang. You're on your way to your bunker right now, your truck filled up with only toilet paper.
12. The person who actually has sh*t to deal with
Maybe you're a healthcare worker or a grocery store clerk. Maybe you're sick or have to take care of kids. Maybe you can't pay your rent because the government in the richest country in the world won't pay for it, even though you've been calling to ask for a rent freeze for weeks. Either way, we are sorry, you deserve better, and you are the true heroes of this scenario—which is not going to become an apocalypse, but which has asked so much of you.
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Production on the end of the world has been a mess since day one
With June of 2020 nearly here and no sign of the final cataclysm we've been promised, it's beginning to seem like The End Times will forever be near, without ever being upon us.
While the early phases of civilization's collapse into a burning hellscape were promising, progress on the more dramatic culmination of armageddon has been repeatedly stalled by restructuring, miscommunication, and the high rate of turnover within the ranks of the Great Old Ones' loyal subjects.
"The slow burn is great and all," said John Knӕlgghyrt, née Phillips, who was briefly the high priest of Cthulhu's Dark Order—prior to being scooped unceremoniously into his lord's tentacled maw—"but trying to get the big stuff done has been a real challenge." The main struggle he points to is the lack of cohesion and structural order among the death cult working haplessly to hasten Earth's return to a state of desolation and chaos. "It's like herding cats sometimes. Insane, death-obsessed cats."
The question is whether or not we respond with empathy to the real fears of people who never had our best interests at heart.
Every so often, a dank meme appears with big pandemic energy, spreading exponentially until suddenly it's everywhere.
Such was the case with "OK Boomer" and so seems to be the trajectory of "Boomer Remover," Gen Z's new term for the coronavirus.
It started, like many memes, with a single Tweet:
According to writer Bailey Carlin's familial grapevine, middle school students have been referring to coronavirus as the "boomer remover." Naturally, Twitter saw this and immediately lost their collective sh*t.
"Boomer remover" quickly became the top trending topic in the United States.
But while the term has an obviously jokey air to it, there's also a very serious undercurrent of anger beneath the surface. Even a perfunctory scroll through related posts reveals an overwhelming number of people who genuinely feel like the boomer generation has destroyed the world for younger people. And while they might shroud their generational rage beneath the guise of humor, there does seem to be some real sentiment that the coronavirus might be the karmic reckoning that boomers deserve.
In truth, there is some irony at play amidst all of this pandemic horror. 53% of American voters over the age of 50 voted for Donald Trump (compared to only 35% of voters under age 24), and now Trump is bungling medical efforts to respond to a virus that has the highest chance of killing older people.
But does that mean it's fair to joke about a situation that has many people fearing for their lives, especially when not all of those people even support the awful policies that have left America entirely unprepared to handle a wide-scale health crisis? After all, the boomer generation isn't a monolith. 44% of people over 50 still voted against Trump.
We're in a very precarious position, culturally speaking (not to mention, in every other regard). The past four years have been an absolute nightmare for many young Americans. Faced with crippling student loans, rampant underemployment, poor healthcare options, lack of resources, etc., etc., etc., Gen Z and Millennials have been loudly crying out for help. In response, we have been called entitled and disrespectful by the older generations, told to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps as they vote against our best interests again and again and again. Of course, all of this is generally speaking. There are plenty of awful millennials and plenty of wonderful boomers. But social media is oftentimes a reflection of the overarching social conscience, and thus reflects generalities.
The question isn't really whether or not "boomers" deserve the coronavirus, the "boomer remover." The question is whether or not we respond with empathy to the real fears of people who never had our best interests at heart. Finding the right answer might not be so cut-and-dry. Even those of us who find divisive behavior uncouth shouldn't be so quick to ignore the pain and anger that has built up within younger generations over the past few years, as older generations have continued to spit in their faces and disregard their very lives.
Even worse, while many young, healthy people are self-quarantining for the greater good, too many older people are still viewing COVID-19 as a big media joke.
"For me, that would've just extended my vacation," said the same retiree from the above tweet, in reference to her annoyance over her cruise being canceled. "As long as someone was feeding me and changing my bed, I would be fine...People are too worried. The flu has killed more people than the coronavirus, and people haven't been as concerned over the flu."
Her sentiment, full of passive disregard for whatever low-wage workers need to risk their own safety feeding her and changing her bed in the face of a pandemic, is exactly why so many younger people hate the older generations. Oftentimes, it seems like they only care about themselves, other people be damned.
So while boomers may be fuming over the Boomer Remover meme, perhaps they can use their quarantine time for a little introspection. Regardless of whether anyone is right to use such a divisive, dark meme during such a trying time, the anger behind it is more than justified.
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