After Covid hit in 2020 and new strains (such as Delta, against which Japanese people have a weakness in their immune system, making it much more lethal for them, and now the more infectious Omikron) appeared in 2021, the world has been gradually moving back to a more “normal” level. Obviously, economic problems such as high inflation rates everywhere due to the American economic crisis were still on, but the signs were there. Japan was to slowly open up to the world again, and you saw news about completely irrelevant (or as we say here, どうでもいいニュース, “whatever-news”) topics such as Neil Young pulling his stuff from Spotify, which made me expect a still somewhat tumultuous year 2022 (especially with the senatorial elections in the USA spilling over to the rest of the world, as usual), but I believed there was an overall trend that gave reason for optimism.
If you are, like me, a huge fan of Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History (I’m an extreme history nut, always been, I could talk about it for ages), you are likely to see things in perspective. The political divide in the USA is bad, but it’s not quite civil war level, and nothing new. Covid is bad, but we had worse pandemics, and way fewer defences that protected at least those of us who don’t believe vaccines make us grow hooves and unasked for limbs. People are overwhelmed by a lot of things, but it doesn’t take a lot to confuse people, do propaganda/information warfare, the methods just differ due to newer technology. Overall, while not being an optimist, my outlook wasn’t as grim. I’m a 40-something, having seen a lot of bullshit during my lifetime. I’m probably more of a chill type from the start, and my years here in Japan have made me even more mellow.
Now the invasion of the Ukraine started. We’ve seen this coming, and the place is far away from me. I’d probably been worried about it naturally, if I still lived in Europe, but I moved to Japan a while ago and am physically as far away as possible (maybe Australia is further). And yet, I find myself worrying and scrolling through the news, caught on Youtube or Reddit or news pages, so much so that I spend way too much time following the news. I’m tired. I haven’t touched the manuscript of 5150 since the war began, and I haven’t started the process of getting a cover made.
I decided I’ll have to deal with this, because it’s a problem. Yes, the war is a serious problem, and a WW3 scenario with nuclear weapons is not off the table, but sitting here paralysed is not the way to deal with it. I’ll get the new cover now and start writing again. In the end, IF something nuclear drops on my head, there’s nothing I could do about it. Might as well get those books done.