Scientists: stop proposing forced evolution to a society we won’t be able to endure

I’m going to stop reading the news from now on in order to maintain hope and not get horribly depressed. Scientists are quoted in articles and appear totally disconnected from awareness of basic human need.

They talk of permanent changes in response to the virus that come across to me as envisaging a society that can only exist in the heads of scientists and sci-fi writers. I pray the virus is eradicated and vaccinated against soon, because the world scientists are pushing for – including permanent distancing that is not and never has been in any way social, the death of nightclubs and therefore music and dancing, is brutal, guaranteed impossible to adopt forever and severely wounding to people in terms of anxiety, loneliness and mental health.

If these oft-quoted scientists’ fever dreams come to pass, some of which are detailed in the linked-to article about the arts here, I swear I will eventually seek out the virus and find out if it’s going to kill me, make me sick for a time or have no visible effect at all. Of course I don’t want that. Ever. I do what makes sense right now: wearing masks, washing hands, avoiding contacts. But I’m not going to be alone in responding to what scientists tell us we ‘must’ do – not just temporarily but forever as a species – with despair and horror.

Nature forces evolutionary change. Not scientists. We rely on them to find treatments, cures and vaccines. We should not be listening to their proposals for changing human behaviour in the long-term. I mean, we are already seeing extensive psychological damage to humans in lockdown scenarios.

I wonder sometimes if the scientists who get quoted with their grand schemes for the human race are partnered, have sex, date, ever spent much time on a dancefloor, in a pub, actively socialising in any way. I wonder if their heads full of plans to defend against the virus ever consider the emotions, hearts and minds of people.

All I know is it’s the hope this will all end that keeps many of us going. We know the world will be changed by the virus, already is with mass unemployment and a need for change that was already urgent before, due to inequality and the climate emergency. But when your response to media is to feel sick, to think ‘will you just fuck off?’ – it’s time to switch off and stop reading.

The world scientists seem to want to usher in is a vision of Hell I don’t want to live in. I wish they’d just shut up and focus on the only sensible thing for them to do: eradicate the virus or protect us from it with a vaccine.

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