The last time I posted was February 2017. It was a post about being terrified and not in control of world events that felt they were spiralling out of control.
Three years later and I can say that my unfounded anxiety was an hysterical overreaction and everything is fine.
Apart from half the world is on fire, half under water, uncontrollable plagues of locusts are devastating crops in East Africa and now a global pandemic that will kill millions of people around the world is here. For real. Right now. And all of that's just since Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson became our PM. That's his actual name. 'Boris' is the cuddly nickname that has (apparently successfully) covered his obvious psychopathy for long enough for millions of people to actually vote for the lunatic.
I read a lot of Tudor history. I'm currently reading The Mirror and the Light. It's phenomenal. I used to read Tudor history and feel smugly glad that I'm a 20th century person. We're so much more educated and enlightened. We're not ruled over by insane megalomaniacs who actively want people dead. We don't live in fear of imminent death from diseases we can't control or treat. We are free to say what we think and we can trust that our state leaders at least try to do the best for us.
And then the world shifted. Just as I found personal happiness, everything else fell down the toilet. I'm not saying those two things are linked. But you know. Here we are. Far more likely to have been Bowie's death that opened the portal to the shittest timeline possible, to be fair. A timeline where Donald fucking Trump is still president and will probably win a second term. That's if elections go ahead and he doesn't take a leaf out of Putin's playbook and just scrap the whole pretence of democracy.
Whatever your thoughts on Brexit, the Tories, the fatuous joke of a prime minister the UK elected on purpose and the real puller of strings, the inexplicably revolting Dominic Cummings, surely none of us want to be here. Marooned apart from Europe, no allies, a joke on the world stage, no clarity on trade, no clarity on the crisis that is worsening every day. We're adrift in a sea of absolute shite and Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is at the bridge. Or in the fridge. Somewhere. Who knows. Probably on holiday in Mauritius.
We're divided like never before. Angry. Disenfranchised. Afraid. Scared. Belligerently arrogant. Sure that our immune systems will save us from a disease that has no precedent. Sure that we don't need to self-isolate. That it doesn't matter if we go out and carry on and that anyone who's openly worried is hysterical. We're politicised. We're damaged. And we cannot look to the political leaders of this country to guide us through this.
This is not a war with a clear enemy. And that bloated fool in Number 10 is no Winston Churchill.
Tomorrow is the 19th anniversary of the worst day of my life. The day my dad died. His death devastated me. It devastates me still. I lost him before his time. Way before his time. He was 56 years old.
Two days ago the prime minister told us to take this pandemic on the chin and to prepare to lose loved ones before their time. I wonder if he can even conceive of what that means. The devastation it will cause.
And for the first time since 16 March 2001, there's a part of me that's weirdly relieved that my dad isn't here anymore. Because he won't have to deal with this shitstorm. And he won't die in an overcrowded ward. He won't be triaged away from ventilators and intensive care beds in favour of younger people because we don't have enough resources. He won't be treated as expendable collateral damage by a government that has systematically destroyed one of the finest healthcare institutions in the world until it's on its knees just in time for the kind of pandemic that hasn't been seen since 1919.
What am I saying? That the world is so awful and the outlook so bleak that I'm glad my dad's already dead? That's dark even for me.