In 2020 the earth entered a black hole that shifted it forward in time. Only those able to access the internet could order food online, pay their bills, arrange doctor’s appointments.
Those who were 70+ were required by governments to self-isolate or risk contracting a deadly flu-like virus. This meant they stayed home.
Those who were computer savvy could order they wanted on the internet subject to availability; those who did not know how or were unable to use a computer relied on family, friends or charity for supplies.
The ultimate cost of shopping
Supermarkets became both busy and potentially lethal. Some customers failed to observe social distancing while others obeyed. Staff at the tills sheltered behind plastic sheets to protect themselves from the public who had wrapped scarves around their faces because they could not get masks.
That is why online grocery shopping graduated from luxury to necessity. At least at home, the risk of infection was minimised. This area of the economy was ill-prepared for the demands now placed upon it, but people took jobs in supermarkets as they lost jobs elsewhere.
Meanwhile, other traditional old-school shops closed. Hairstylists and barbers closed for business: people went grey, got hairy or underestimated the power of hair clippers.
Ignorance is not bliss
Education became home-based, and lives became sedentary, ‘stay safe, stay home’.
The people of Earth took to the internet to communicate as they were not allowed to be within two meters of people they did not already live with. People became poisonous. Social distancing became the norm. Face masks became a must-have, and hand sanitizer became more sought after than liquid gold.
Disconnection & Isolation
Life in lockdown was isolating. Those without social media or smartphones relied on television and radio for instruction. Communication for them was one way. They were on the receiving end and had no means to reply.
The black hole shifted the people’s attention to health and connection. Though many felt less connected than ever.
To maintain behaviour, news organisations stressed the importance of environment, society and economy.
Nature is Prioritised
Meanwhile, the earth was reclaiming itself.
The people of earth were thrown forward into the realities of the direction their lives, economy, agriculture and architecture were taking.
On the upside, money was thrown into medical research. Nations shared most of their data, though not all. On one level they were united in their race to find a cure. On another level, riches and accolades awaited those who would succeed. And each country wanted to benefit in order to help its people first. Saving the people of Earth would also boost the economy of the country responsible.
The Future Replanned
It was strange that a black hole sent Earth into a battered version of the future it was creating; it will be interesting to see who or what they make of the results in 2030.
#anxiety #time #olderpeople #trauma