What makes life worth living? Is it attending a live opera performance and listening to heavenly voices singing the libretto of La Traviata? Is it paying for a seat in the nosebleeds under the summer night sky and cheering for the boys of The Show? Is it discovering a used bookstore in a pocket of your city and finding a Ben Hur 1860 (III Edition) with the erratum on page 116? Is it flirting in hushed tones with a beautiful or handsome stranger at a coffee shop? Everyone has his or her thing that makes life worth living, but now it is under threat by the puritans who demand conformity to their totalitarian fetishism.
1,001 Ways to Die
For two months, the United States has been locked down, and its citizens have been placed under house arrest – an introvert’s dream. Millions of Americans are counting down the days until the stay-at-home orders are lifted by, as conservative thinker Victor Davis Hanson told Liberty Nation’s incomparable Tim Donner, “little Napoleon governors.” But all will eventually be granted a release from the confines of their makeshift prisons on the conditions of social distancing and contact tracing.
Once the nation reopens, you could have an existential crisis because civilization has been altered. Be it temporary or everlasting, the new normal may be difficult to assimilate.
After you take a breath of fresh air and saunter into your asphalt jungle, you may feel the urge to retreat to your nest and wonder why you yearned for your freedom in the first place. Everything that made life invigorating and intoxicating has been dismantled by power-hungry politicians and red-tape-loving bureaucrats. The Coronavirus not only infected and killed tens of thousands of Americans but also has eviscerated many unique characteristics of American society: from handshakes to hugs to hot dogs (extra sauerkraut!) from a street vendor.
Every day, we come across 1,001 different things that could lead to our demise. We can get killed crossing the street, walking the dog, or watching three minutes of CNN. In the age of COVID-19, we have abandoned the joy of living life for the anxiety of contracting the respiratory illness, choosing to listen to the experts who have been wrong from the beginning. In a reminiscence of the 1950s’ Red Scare, we have put paranoia in the place of confidence. Like toadies of East Germany’s Stasi, we have swapped our love of liberty and independence for surveilling neighbors because they went for a stroll without masks.
In this pandemic, we have metastasized into fallen souls isolated in purgatory too afraid to channel the human spirit for fear of a permanent quarantine six feet under.
In Nihilism We Trust?
If life were not a special gift, we would either grab a noose or lay on the sofa staring at the ceiling with insipid talk radio hosts prattling on in the background about odious barbers opening their shops.
Do we go around just once? Do we spend multiple lives to learn lessons in morality, ethics, and karma? Do we enjoy eternity in an enchanting light? Mankind has not been able to answer these questions since the dawn of time, although that has not prevented humanity from falling in love, painting gorgeous landscapes, or playing a game of chess in the park. And yet, a virus born in the caves of China’s Yunnan Province that traveled to a wet market in Wuhan has forced us to abandon everything that makes life pleasurable. Our pastimes are now binge-watching banal Netflix programs and tweeting obscenities at strangers. We have gone from expecting too much out of life to not expecting anything at all. Carpe Diem is now Timere Diem. The nihilists have won.
Read more from Andrew Moran.
For home study students and young people, Liberty Nation recommends…
All About Social Distancing
Elementary School: Social Distancing is Boring, but It Used to Be Worse
All About the Government Response to Coronavirus
High School: White House Acts on Coronavirus
Middle School: Trump Takes Action on Coronavirus
Elementary School: Trump Versus Coronavirus