In light of our current situation, it seems like we are all living in a dystopia all over the world. A virus has forced us to retreat to our homes and once-bustling cities have become (almost) ghost towns. Early on, our class described a dystopia as “an imaginary or real place whose people may lead a restricted and oppressive existence under some form of authority.” The social distancing aspect of the coronavirus pandemic seems to be the most dystopian aspect to me.
All across news and media outlets people are being urged to keep away from each other to decrease the chance of spreading the virus. It’s completely understandable but strange. It’s hard to imagine a world where we keep six feet away from each other at all times and human interaction can only be filtered through a screen or a phone. Maybe not getting to interact with people physically isn’t necessarily oppressive but it is restrictive in every sense. How long until people are able to go see their loved ones or hold the hands of those who are sick in the hospital? Not long ago we would reach for a hug or a hand without even thinking, but now those things seems like such a foreign concept. This is our new reality for the time being; keeping our distance and avoiding contact with other people by any means necessary. According to an article on HealthyChildren.org, “slowing down or preventing the spread of the virus will save lives.” It seems that the only way to stop this virus is to stay at home if possible and avoid contact with other people.
Our class definition of a dystopia is materializing before our eyes and it’s enough to realize that dystopias don’t discriminate.