The past six months have certainly been interesting ones, to say the least.
At no time in human history has a respiratory disease been used as a pretext - on a global scale - for curtailing civil liberties, driving millions into unemployment - not to mention the permanent closure of hundreds of thousands of small businesses. And of course, let's not forget the 'mandatory' mask mandates by government fiat.
We are told to avoid handling cash. Too easy to spread the virus that way, they say. Instead, use only credit or debit cards, so that there is an electronic record of every one of your purchases. Is it a coincidence that promoted or mandated exclusive use of these cards can also provide for direct, 3rd party control over your money, when the appropriate time comes?
We're being told to acclimate to a 'new normal.' But what will such a 'new normal' look like? Permanent masks while in public? Will bars and restaurants, as we know them, ever be allowed to open again? Will we ever be able to go to the theater or to a jazz club again? Perhaps not until we're all forced to take a mandatory vaccine?
For a flâneur who wants to savor life, as well as enjoy and appreciate those with whom he/she shares humanity - these are ominous, if not sinister times, indeed.
But these are all rhetorical questions, which may or may not be answered as events continue to unfold, and are not within the scope to address here. Those questions will be discussed at length in subsequent posts as we explore the real reasons we find ourselves trapped in this new reality of the year 2020. And trust me, it's a rabbit hole as deep and as sinister as it gets.
For now, the question at hand for this post then is, given the circumstances of our new reality - what is a flâneur to do?
The first and most basic element in flânerie is Social Interaction. Social Interaction has been significantly curtailed over the past six months due to: our virtual house arrests since mid-March; the mask mandates; and the apparent mass neuroses of getting too close to other human beings for fear of contracting the COVID-19 contagion.
It's hard to imagine a more effective combination of factors that could be as damaging to our common humanity and bonds to one another, than by establishing these artificial, and mostly unwarranted barriers. #socialengineeringatitsworst We're not going to get into the reasons for this here, as I previously mentioned, but rather we'll talk about how to still get the most out of life as a flâneur under these most trying of circumstances.
1. Social Interaction (with Those Closest to You)
If you lost your job or other income as a result of government actions in response to the virus, hopefully you have been able to obtain unemployment or small business assistance and other special considerations for paying your monthly expenses until you can return to generating other income or wages and catch-up - or otherwise resolve your outstanding financial obligations.
Particularly if you have a family, this will be an overriding consideration until these life circumstances change. Sometimes life throws overwhelming challenges at us, and certain things must be set aside until we can stabilize or situation - but that doesn't mean we have to stop living.
In the meantime however, most of us will be spending more time than ever at home, and this provides us with a unique opportunity in which to spend much more quality time with our families, as well as for our own introspection and intellectual pursuits.
My wife an I spend an evening cocktail hour out on our front terrace every day, weather permitting. It provides us with an opportunity to spend time together that we would ordinarily never have time to do - giver our pre-lockdown work schedules. Therefore, try to turn this situation into a positive experience if you can, by rediscovering your own spouse or family.
© 2020 David Nogar All Rights Reserved
David Nogar worked in railroad operations for almost 50 years until retiring from the transportation business in early 2023.