He grabbed at his Under Armour like it had lapels and puckered his face.
“Stiff upper lip ol’ chap. Wot!”
I just stared, unsmiling at the jest.
“Funny. But as I keep telling you, this is different. We’re not in Stalag 17 trying to dig a tunnel under the enemy’s nose or riding out a hurricane in our tiny bathroom.” He sighed and you could almost hear his brain gears switching to a higher clueless mode providing a higher torque of imbecility.
“It will,” he took a deep breath for emphasis, “all work out. It won’t last forever.”
“And you know this because?”
“No more than you know anything. Except I’m more positive and have faith in people.”
I pulled myself up in my quite uncomfortable chair.
“Without entering into the ‘I’m not pessimistic, I’m realistic’ trope, I’ll just add that having faith in people who are so immediate and eager to believe anything the government proclaimed experts,” and here I did the ‘air-quotes’, “and/or whatever the person in the white lab coat says without a single question, is more than a dubious hope, it’s downright dangerous. What’s that ol’ Reagan quip about there’s nothing more dangerous in life than having someone from the government show up at your door and say, ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.'”
I could see his cheeks begin to flush. That usually meant he was going to get intellectually hip and poetic.
“Water always tends towards equilibrium. People like status quo. It will get back to normal, just you watch bro.”
He wandered towards the kitchen and that was the end of the conversation.
But I wondered, again, what a post-social distancing world looked like. How a world, where the economy had shut down on a cosmic scale coupled with a monstrous sovereign debt load, would ever look normal again? It had ‘reset’ plastered in every crack and waving like a D-Day battle flag in an Arabian haboob on it. Normal? Nothing but wishful thinking.
I extricated myself from the horrible torture chair and tried to stretch my back to an upright, humanoid, position. I groaned. Partly from the stiffening, partly from the general lack of “situational awareness” as my Dad might have remarked.
This was no ‘stiff upper-lip’ time. This was a re-invention time.
But what kind of re-invention and into what kind of world?