Robert Alagjozovski, Writer
By Robert Alagjozovski
What would you say are symbols of your current situation or the current situation in your country?
Some evil sorcerer has cast a spell over the world. While we lay paralyzed in our cocoons, the heroes are struggling to break the spell, restore order and save humanity. In the scared minds of the trapped people flashes a memory that it is not a pure evil. Some vow was broken. Hubris and hamartia, said the old masters.
How will the pandemic change the world? What do you see as long-term consequences of the crisis?
I expect two responses to the graveness of the crisis. The first one is the “I don’t care (anymore)” attitude. We recovered our economy, finances, we have returned to our routines, we socialize, enjoy culture and entertainment, even with bigger zeal after the “starvation”. We forgot our promises on our deathbeds. It was an over-reaction, a small weakness in the challenging hardship. Many would want to ignore the consequences and turn to the bright side of life until the next crisis. Some politicians and public figures may try to find excuses or invent irrational remedies. However, that will not succeed.
The second scenario would be systemic change of our behavior, introduction of measures and protocols which will improve our daily habits and will reduce the reasons and the outcomes of the crisis. In order to reduce or eliminate the risks for the future, we will have to change many things. Not always willingly and not always in line with our human behavior.
The code of ethics has to become stricter. Development has to preserve the natural habitats. Greener and cleaner energies have to be prioritized. Recycling must replace pollution. The social distancing could persist, leading to less people per square meter. It could cut the profits in the aviation, services, habitation, and leisure industries. It could also result in the investment of more money in social and health systems as well as reserve funds to ensure better preparedness for future crisis scenarios.
Digitalization will become an absolute norm for many systems: economy, finance, trade, market, culture, socializing.
The human interaction, the physical presence (in galleries, museums, and cafeterias) will be optional. Those opting for the second scenario will try to involve people from the first one. It will be a slow success disrupted from time to time by rogues who will offer ready-made and quick-fix remedies.
What gives you hope?
The history of humanity is still a happy end, despite dystopia. We have survived until this day and we have shown readiness to change. We are rational beings with capacity and methods to learn from our mistakes and improve our behavior and society. Most of the time we make the right cocktail of conduct, ethics, fear, solidarity, creativity, imagination, responsibility and joy.
What is your personal strategy for dealing with this situation?
I work to fine-tune the focus and de-focus. I follow protocols, fighting paranoia. I re/read and watch as many books and films in the genre of catastrophe, dystopia, and post-apocalypse: Aeschylus, Boccaccio, Camus, Burroughs, Soderbergh, Emmerich, and Petersen. I am searching for experience, epitome, morale and bail-out for the imagination.
In addition, I make pauses by attending to my immunity-building needs: healthy meals, landscape watching, room exercise, contemplation and family joy.