It’s hard to look past the atrocities that Covid-19 has brought upon the world. One thing we can take solace in is its various phases which seemingly encompassed everybody at one point.
Looking back to March, it feels like a lifetime ago. Remember Tiger King? The endless Carole Baskin jokes? Yes – that was this year. Scrolling fast to avoid spoilers on Twitter for what would happen to Big Cat Rescue, wondering if Carole did actually feed her husband to the tigers, and most of all, having a complicated relationship with how to view Joe Exotic, was at the forefront of everybody’s minds. Groupchats and Facebook posts were all obsessed, and it was hard to avoid the hype.
Then, suddenly, it stopped. Phase One (aka the Tiger King fiasco) ended, and The Pandemic: Phase Two began. And, instead of big cats and murder conspiracies, the human race collectively moved onto baking. Flour had disappeared from the shelves, people were crying, and the supermarket apocalypse had begun. Carole Baskin was nowhere to be seen, as banana bread and other baked goods replaced her and flooded Instagram feeds across the world.
Then, baking got a bit tiring. Humans, being true to their natures, got a bit bored. Also, what can you do with eight banana loafs in one week?! Thus, Phase Three began: Zoom meetings. Whether this be for at-home quizzes, work meetings or general chats, Zoom became the life-line we never knew we needed. If you had asked ten people this time last year what they thought of Zoom, I guarantee at least nine of them couldn’t tell you what it was. And as Zoom arrived, so did its hackers. Just as us humans found some solace in being able to hang out and drink with our pals again (albeit over a screen, and only for forty minutes at a time), naked men and internet pranksters had to come and ruin it. Also, remember that time our PM leaked the meeting ID of a private cabinet online meeting? Zoom was really too good to be true.
You could say that we are still in Phase 3: The Zoom Take Over, as it is still used by many people daily. But, something important replaced Zoom: a revolution.
With all jokes aside, Phase 4 is perhaps the most important one we have experienced at all. COVID-19 has divided people in many ways, but with George Floyd’s murder reaching people globally, millions and millions came together to form some of the largest protests ever. There wasn’t a single state in North America where protests weren’t happening, and social media became a place for petitions and educational resources. In this time, it was hard to imagine the apps we were using were the same apps circulating Carole Baskin memes just a few months earlier. People came together, signed petitions, organised safe protests, donated, educated themselves and spread the most important message of all (that is still as relevant as ever): BLACK LIVES MATTER.
Following these times, which are still present even if national news decides not to cover it, Phase 5 has began, and it is where we are at now. This fifth stage has taken inspiration from its predecessors, and become an amalgamation of humour and serious topics. Phase 5 is the Conspiracy and Hoax phase. Although the conspiracy theorists and anti-maskers have been present since March, they’ve grown in number since and have recently started their own protests. It’s possibly the most disappointing phase of the pandemic, and one which benefits nobody. However, much like the others, humans will grow through this phase and overcome it. Who knows what Phase 6 will bring…?
With all the phases of the pandemic that we have collectively experienced, there is one important lesson to take away from this.
We are all human and we are all in this together (in the HSM sense and in the humanitarian sense). However, as much as it is sometimes hard to accept that some people share DNA with you, we, as humans, are more similar in ways than we are different. As much as the COVID deniers and the intolerable Karens are infuriating at times, it’s our job as humans to stick together and make it through this shitshow of a year.
Photo courtesy of Tonik