LAST night, we watched as a friend defended his doctorate thesis online, via a Zoom-like application that was also pleasantly reminiscent of video-conferencing back in the 80s. This meant that while our friend stood before a rostrum in his faraway home in Costa Rica, he was being questioned on the merits of his study output he had just presented, by a panel of experts in his field, all coming from other countries. All the while, the whole proceedings had been facilitated by officials from the university he was graduating from, located in the Netherlands! So, how cool is that, the closest to real-time that we can get in today’s unreal pandemic world!
Only two months ago, two of our granddaughters had likewise undergone similar “virtual” graduation ceremonies, with one moving up from elementary to junior high and the other, from senior high school and then off to college. Now, it didn’t really matter to us that we only learned of these a few days after and only on social media at that. Truth was, whether we experience these significant milestones live or not, the important thing is that our social rituals of celebrating a sense of moving on, has endured no matter what. This means that despite the lockdown demands at social distancing brought about by the pandemic, our specie is indeed a hardy lot, masterful in adapting to what is in front of us and at any given time, readily gifted with improvisation. With that of course, we can then put in as coming close second, the self-congratulatory note that we’ve surely come a long way. Yet, isn’t that even something to be surprised about?
Two years ago, I fondly remember that we had attended our son’s graduation from college, in the flesh. With thousands in attendance and no social distancing whatsoever. Who would have thought that we might never see the likes of that again?
Lest we forget, when 2020 happened and when the world had spun out of its axis, we wildly spun along with it, though I reckon that might have been only for a while. Then, with the steady death toll rising (and already a near-four million at present) and all the countries going into lockdown, our actions have become marked with both a mixture of confusion, and a serious clash of beliefs on how else to proceed. Gradually again, we managed to trudge forward.
Now, armed with vaccines and a new-found resolve that we need to be on the same page when it comes to protecting ourselves, the once-paralyzing fear that had in the past, engulfed us, appears finally beatable. This growing confidence that we can win through is enough but not to forget, this is in our nature. Humans always find a way.
On the other hand, some may still maintain however, that all these little victories are nothing but a kind of whistling in the dark. Now is not the time to disrespect what others cling to, they be religion or old beliefs. For our part, let’s just move on and hope in the end, that they’ll follow.
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