As I am writing this right now, the world is quietly coming apart.
I can sit here in my newly acquired sitting chair that The Ravishing Mrs. TB decreed we needed as our furniture was years old (to be fair, it was and it is comfortable) and watch, as if I were watching a video game, pictures from Israel of missiles falling and missiles rising - sort of live action "Missile Command" (if you are old enough to remember such things). They appear like giant fireflies rising and falling; with the sound off, it really is almost like a video game or fan fiction movie.
I take a sip from my lime flavored unsweetened Sparkling water (Yes, I know, regular water does the same thing. We all allow ourselves certain little luxuries in life). I read of gas lines stretching out or fuel simply being unavailable in some locations. I take another sip.
The news is like that now, as I sit and sip. A death or two here on the Russian/Ukrainian border complete with shelling (yet no-one knows who it is); death tolls rising in India from The Plague while Baja Canada's government wrings its hands about falling vaccination rates and starts offering free "things" to entice people; reports of growing homelessness and poverty while job creation was at an apparent low and colloquially millions of jobs go wanting for people to do them while millions of others cannot apparently be bothered to find a job when provision of income from the government is present.
All filled with disasters, all incongruously highlighting stark different realities almost existing side by side. And all of this, seemingly unreal for many people.
There is a subcategory of dystopian novels known as The Cozy Disaster Novel. The context of such things is that there is a disaster that causes a dystopia but is a quiet, understated sort of thing. John Christopher (the pen name of Samuel Youd) wrote a number of these as young adult novels (looking back, this was probably one of my first introductions to the concept of end of the world scenarios and dystopian futures). They make for quiet reading, good for rainy days or for quiet ponderings about what ifs.
The problem, of course, is that in the real world disasters are not nearly so cozy.
This is the danger of disasters such as these, of course: they are just as dangerous and deadly and disruptive as the less cozy variety, or perhaps even more so by virtue of the fact that for most, as they seem unreal, they are less likely to believe that it will ever impact them or create in them a need to actually take action to mitigate such things.
I am aware that this is not the first time this has happened nor, most likely (and hopefully) the last, and that more likely than not I will sit here in some future time, at the same chair with the same water, and think the same.
But this I hold as a difference: I can at least recognize a matter of concern, even from my chair and water, and take some sort of action. For millions of others, it will simply seem another television show or video game or online article - right until the time, as it has always been said in legends, that the sun rises and suddenly all are turned to stone.