Editorial – May 2020 : Sanity is not helped by boredom.

May 3, 2020 | By | 2 Replies More

Hello everyone

I’m beginning to wonder if I should greet you by saying, ‘Hello survivors’. A scary note that the world is dividing into those who haven’t caught coronavirus and waiting on the off-chance that they might get it, those who had coronavirus and survived and then…you see the problem. Three choices to choose from, two of them distinctly unpleasant. As long as you’re still here, that’s the main thing.

Even though I’ve lived a solitary existence for the past 14 years, with the rest of the country and probably large parts of the world now doing the same, I’m now getting something I’ve never felt before. The world feels like it’s changing to meet me half-way to where I am.

I’ve felt time seems to have slowed down somewhat or I’m getting a lot more in to the time I have available.. Whether it’s some action of my own that has changed to avoid some repeats on TV or rearranging my time or things to do a little, I’m not sure but it does feel a little, for the want of a better word, odd. Mind you, trying to play ‘Fortnite’ has been impossible with so many people playing it all the time. As with everything, we tend to adapt and it’ll be an equal shake-up when the lockdown is finally eased.

As a species, most of us are likely to adapt to the situation, more so if we want to avoid coronavirus and, hopefully as geeks, we do have enough things to keep ourselves occupied. Even so, this does appear to be one gigantic chance for an observation of how people cope with isolation for extended periods so I hope some scientific unit is keeping check on behaviour patterns for themselves as well as other people. If nothing else, it would keep us better prepared should such or when an event such as this happens again. Mental well-being is just as important as staying physically well and free from any pandemic.

As writers, the same thing applies only we tend to look more at national reaction. Some humans are restless more than others, more so as confinement seems to worry them more than a potential killer virus. It will be interesting seeing the effects of stress on what would be otherwise normal people. As I said earlier, sort of meeting me from the other direction, only most people are coming in at it from a more stable mental condition. It’s also problematic because unless you’re experienced with particular mental conditions in other people, it is very much not knowing what hit you, let alone with side effects or what category you would be classified in. With my own agoraphobia, I found early on that I had to avoid most drugs for intolerances and bad side effects and, over the years, found it also extended to regular foodstuffs. With a limited diabetic diet already, I had the advantage of working out which foods were causing early and dropping them restored my health. Wisely, I then avoided foods with similar characteristics when looking for alternatives. A scientific background does have some distinct advantages even if I am my own guinea pig.

It also feels more like you people are joining me in isolation and the world is going upside down. It’s something I’m used to but not seeing everyone going through it sans mental problems does make me wonder if any of you are feeling mentally fragile then this is going to make it more so. Check over my suggestions from the beginning of the month https://www.sfcrowsnest.info/iso-lone-a-geek-guide-to-home-survival-an-article-all-alone-in-the-light-by-gf-willmetts/ to keep yourself occupied. I can see people meeting me from the other direction. More so if you start to fear going out.

Unusual conditions do illustrate a lot about the human machine. A lot of what we do is autonomic. We program or train ourselves to do some things and then take it for granted. Those of you who drive, sail or ride of bike have your reflexes tuned to so your conscious mind doesn’t have to interfere too much unless you plan to deviate from the conditioning. It’s hardly surprising that when the conditioning is changed that we are thrown into a loop.

In many respects, most of us prefer an orderly life, a condition no doubt that goes back into primeval times and often divides us into leaders and serfs, willing to obey any communal orders then necessitate thinking about such things for ourselves.

In our current isolation crisis, we also have to evaluate reality against what we are told. That becomes even more scary when we don’t fully trust what we are told from a governmental level. Unlike previous generations, we are more consciously aware of reality against political expediency and even faith that everything will work out. I find I’m more likely to side with people who have medical expertise than any leadership that clearly doesn’t or even those who profess things that clearly are totally absurd like this has anything to do with the new 5G transmitters. Since when does a virus derived from cross-animal contamination have anything to do with electro-magnetic spectrum? The stupidity of even thinking injecting disinfectant would work belies belief. Conspiracy theories tend to be just that and we certainly aren’t living in a B-movie environment. At least such films had some better ideas. Well, except for the alien invasion but I’ll believe that when we have aliens walking down the road.

There needs to be some sanity out there and there are already enough lunatics outside of the asylum who don’t know what they are talking about. Always apply logic to what you hear, see or read, no matter the source and just who is saying them.

We’ve seen the best and bad in people in the past 6 weeks, at the time for writing this editorial, but boredom is always going to be an issue. Occupational therapy works best by being kept occupied but it a positive way. At least, I hope here it is ‘we’ and not ‘them’ who carry the right attitude or the Earth will spiral down its only sinkhole and that would not impress the poor people who died of this coronavirus.


Thank you, take care, good night and be positive.


Geoff Willmetts

editor: www.SFCrowsnest.info


A Zen thought: A breath is as long as it takes to inhale and exhale. Breathe wisely.


What Qualities Does A Geek Have: Realising half-way through Spider Solitaire that it can be completed.


The Reveal: Have any of you who use Word noticed that ‘corbid-19’ is a recognised word yet ‘coronavirus’ isn’t until you add it to the dictionary? Mind you, Word is supposed to ignore words with numbers in them.


Ponder: Surely, the most dangerous Bizarro character yet to be created is the Bizarro Zatanna as she would surely cast her spells with the spelling the right way around. Of course, she normally talks in reverse and no one understands what she is saying.


Observation: I don’t know how common it is outside of the UK, but generally if you live over here, the ending of emails these days is ‘Take care’.


Observation: Do you ever wonder why the plaque carrying doomsayers aren’t around anymore? It isn’t as though they go around in a crowd.


Feeling Stressed: Aren’t we all?



Category: Culture, Offworld Report

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

Comments (2)

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  1. Marc Moskovits says:

    Dear Geoff:

    (You may remember me for the corona jokes I sent you previously.)

    Thank you for the honesty and concern I found in reading your article!
    Your words are encouraging and motivating!
    Please keep up the kind words and thoughts.
    They mean a lot to me and I’m sure our brothers and sisters feel the same way!

    I really feel like the earth is fighting an alien invasion, and in the end we will be bloodied but not beaten!
    I also think the virus is nature’s payback to humans for the way we have destroyed and raped our planet.
    If we don’t change it will only get worse!

    On a lighter note, I found a new show on Amazon Prime called “Upload”.
    The premise is that when people die their consciousness is stored in a computer and after paying an exorbitant fee they can “live” as avatars in a virtual country club community. (As long as someone keeps paying the fee).
    Of course there is mystery, intrigue, comedy, a love story, questions about life and living, and some shock factor.
    Its very well made and you might enjoy it.

    If you like anime, I found an amazing movie on youtube called “Redline”. Excellent artwork and story. It took seven years to create and was all drawn by hand. Its about an illegal race being held on a militaristic planet.

    Thanks again for your kind missives!

    Best Regards,
    Marc Moskovits

    • UncleGeoff says:

      Hello Marc
      Talking from the heart is just the way I write. That and a dose of commonsene and scientific understanding.
      Storing personalities inside a computer is an old SF trope. You might want to look up Frederick Pohl’s ‘Heechee’ book series where this happened in later volumes. It’s also given me an idea for a possible story.

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