Covid-11

Today there was, most unfortunately, a significant influx of tourists into Kata, the small seaside town in Phuket where I have two full days of my holiday remaining. This fact baffled me for a while and then I realised that Saturday had already come around and so, of course, the tourists had arrived having finished work on Friday and likely travelled to Kata over night. And why “unfortunately”? Well, because I am generally adverse to people and had rather been enjoying the fact that Kata was a reasonably quiet place. Then of course there remains the fact of the coronavirus. On any rational analysis of the situation, the arrival en masse of more tourists is not a cause for concern, at least not per se. This remains the case even though a fairly significant number of the tourists clearly come from China, the country where the virus originated.

The reason why concern is not necessarily warranted is because I simply have insufficient evidence to make that sort of judgement. The tourists from China may well have come from a province located far from the origin of the virus. Additionally, I really can’t identify where the other tourists are from, beyond saying that they are likely European. And so we have it. Rationality dictates no immediate cause for concern. However, continued observation of the hygiene standards of the people around me recommends that I be somewhat alarmed. Today whilst sitting and drinking a double espresso, I watched a man pick up and squeeze just about every pineapple at a fresh produce store. That fact was worrisome in and of itself but he also sniffed every pineapple, pressing his nose right up to the fruit. He eventually made his purchase and went on his way.

A couple then visited the cart and after deliberating for a while they handled a few pineapples and then selected the one that they wanted, one that had unfortunately been sniffed at by the disgusting individual who had recently departed. Now, imagine that the couple head off towards the beach, rubbing their eyes from the irritations of the smog. Now imagine that they decide to sit in a café where they rest their hands on the table, make use of the communal napkins and select their cutlery from the containers of knives and forks and spoons adjacent to the salad bar. Finally, one of them makes use of the facilities but fails to wash their hands when they are done. Enough said. Although I have been zealous with the use of hand sanitizer, I redoubled my efforts today and will most definitely be wearing a medical face mask at all times during my journey home.

I recognize that the charge might be made against me that I cavil at just about anything and everything but, really, there are just so many annoyances on a day to day basis, a fact that has made clear to me that I have essentially lived my holiday life in the same way that I live my life at home. I spend the greater part of my day in my studio apartment with the exception of going out for a coffee in the morning. I eschew lunch in favour of weight loss and I swim at approximately the same time that I exercise at home. After more time spent in my apartment, I go out in the early afternoon for coffee which is followed by an early dinner – around 5 PM – both because I am hungry by that time and because in eating so early I avoid the masses who will dine around mid evening.

I then return to my room, sometimes after a massage, in order to write until I go to bed at around 1.00 PM, the time that I go to bed at home. I rise at 8 AM, the time that I awaken at home and I repeat the pattern of my day all over again. I might summarize this set of circumstances by saying that no matter where I am or what I am doing I minimize my contact with the outside world. Lest you judge me too hastily, my mental health conditions are a significant contributing factor to this necessity of living a life of solitude. Those same conditions may also account for the fact that I find people so entirely irritating. And then there is my intelligence level which means that I do not suffer fools gladly and have no real inclination to engage in small talk, medium talk or indeed any other kind of talk.

Today there was a child crying, screaming and bawling in the restaurant where I was having dinner. The cause of the tantrum appeared to be the parents telling the child that it could not have ice cream. Said child had an unfortunate face that was rendered even more unattractive when contorted from the temper tantrum. It is no secret that I do not like children. I find them pointless, noisy, self obsessed and generally selfish. They also cost a lot of money to raise and tend, I think, to simply perpetuate the pointless lives of their parents. I have a deep suspicion that the Thai children in Kata do not burst into tears at the slightest and most ridiculous provocation because the lives of Thai families are simply too difficult with subsisting day by day being the primary concern. Covid-19 has only made matters worse for Thais, particularly those who work in the hospitality industry.

My point here really has to do with the fact that people are, generally speaking, thoughtless and stupid. Such was the case before Covid-19 and such will continue to be the case even though a pandemic is raging around the world. I find this fact distinctly odd. Surely the fact of a potentially deadly virus infecting thousands of people around the world should give people cause for thought but I can guarantee that this will not be the case. Nearly everyone will continue to live the lives that they have always lived and if anything does change it will likely be that people will find more reasons to complain about their lives. Thus I would say that an existential opportunity will have been missed by the masses. Said opportunity might be defined in terms of having been presented with circumstances that might have prompted some deep reflection on the purpose and meaning of their lives.

First Published March 8th, 2020

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