Life has sure thrown us all a bit of a fucking curve-ball right now, wouldn’t you say?
In my case, thanks to the coronavirus, my Road Warrior ways have been brought to an abrupt halt, and for the first time in more than 20 years I find myself completely grounded for the foreseeable future. Indeed, I write this post to you from Day 5 of my 14 day quarantine, a newly-introduced mandatory requirement for anyone arriving into Australia, from anywhere in the world.
Worse, while making my way back to Australia a few days ago, I got to experience some truly confronting things that I never thought I’d see in my lifetime: empty streets and train stations in central London; supermarket and pharmacy shelves stripped bare by panicked shoppers; airports filled with people in masks fleeing back to their home countries like refugees in wartime; makeshift tent hospitals being set up in office block car-parks, in anticipation of a coming tsunami of sick people; airlines grounding their entire fleets wholesale – some even turning planes back to their port of origin mid-flight.
It is, in a word, terrifying.
Terrifying to realize how comfortable, sheltered and protected our lives have hitherto been.
Terrifying to see how completely interconnected our globalized, modern-day way of life is – the undeniable truth hitting home that what threatens any one of us is a threat to all of us.
And especially terrifying to see how quickly and easily it has all unraveled.
Without much warning we’re about to live though a global catastrophe that’ll define not just the rest of 2020, but like WWII did for our grandparents, reshape the next 50 years of collective human existence. A global catastrophe that none of us is really ready for, and none of us is immune to.
In this context, the fate of my blog is probably not what you’d call a “higher order issue”. But as some of you may have noticed that about 4 weeks ago I went offline. This is because the company hosting my blog had a “serious technical glitch”, the upshot of which is that this blog simply vanished, along with eight years of my content. I mean, I thought back-ups were something that even a five-year-old in kindergarten knew how to do these days. But then again, I am obviously not the world’s leading multinational web-hosting company, so what the fuck do I know.
In any case it has taken more than a month of angst, effort, threats and cajoling to locate (most) of the lost content, to get the blog restored, to migrate it to a new hosting service, and to get the salvaged content restored, kind of. But finally, as of today, I am back online! Although a lot of the old posts got quite mangled in the process – photos are missing, formatting is screwed up, links don’t work, etc. So bear with me – I still have quite a lot of work ahead of me to get everything back to the way it was.
Meanwhile, it has occurred to me that a lot of you might be sitting around at home unexpectedly, in isolation or lock-down, trying to think of things to do with all your newly-imposed free time. Not to mention, if you are at all like me, you might currently be dreaming of travel to faraway places, back in a time when the world was a free and open and friendly place (i.e., two weeks ago).
And hence my “every cloud has a silver lining” plan: for the next little while, in addition to occasional new posts, on a daily basis I will try to re-post a story from “the vault”, using the opportunity to fix whatever errors got introduced through the recent technical meltdown. In this way I get to restore my blog while chewing up isolation hours at the same time. Meanwhile you get something new to read each day (or reread, if it’s a post you’ve previously seen). Plus, as a bonus, we’ll get to virtually travel the world together in this awful time when real travel is all but impossible.
Please feel free to share, and if you have anything to say about what I’ve written, please leave comments. If you want to receive new posts automatically, visit www.eytanuliel.com and enter your email in the sign-up on the main page. And if you are looking for something more substantial to read, my two books are available: Man Mission (www.manmissionthebook.com or search Man Mission Eytan Uliel on Amazon), and Head Waggling in Delhi (www.headwagglingindelhi.com or search Head Waggling Eytan Uliel on Amazon). I am trying to get my publisher and Amazon to agree to reduce the e-book prices or at least heavily discount them for the time being, although that is proving a bit more of a challenge than I thought – in any case, any money that comes my way from book sales through this crisis will get donated 100% to helping those in need.
Let’s pray that this darkness passes soon. Until then stay safe, stay calm, take care of your loved ones, be kind to strangers, do your part. Let’s choose – each and every one of us – to meet the challenges heading our way with honor, integrity and humanity.
I will be the first person back in the sky when this is over. Until then, I will just have to be the Road Warrior from my couch.