I’m not the first to say it and I certainly won’t be the last: ye Gods, curse this year. 2020 has been a cacophony of natural disasters, social injustice and public health fumbles. It really makes me miss simpler times, like the year 1347.
I propose we band together to overthrow modern society and go back to the good old days when we still had values and people respected things like feudalism and the Black Death.
Things really aren’t any better now than they were then, after all. Despite advancements in medicine, science and technology, we’re still stuck in the middle of a deadly pandemic, struggling to establish basic human equality and facing a massive economic gap between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of us lowly serfs.
Sure, you could argue that the invention of vaccines, combined with a general understanding of how viruses are transmitted, make today’s pandemic a little less terrifying than the Black Death — but plenty of parents are refusing to get their kids vaccinated anyway, so what good does modern medicine really do us?
If I have to wear face coverings out in public, I would much rather have a swanky plague doctor’s mask than a homemade cotton one with elastic loops to go over my ears.
And if I'm going to die from this virus anyway, I’d at least like to have some job security before I go. Instead of having to make all these decisions about what I want to do with my life — whether I want to to apply to graduate school, get married or focus on my career —, I could just be a medieval peasant and live out whatever life had been set for me from birth.
I’d get to live in the same tiny village my entire life, work for the same feudal lord doing the same thing every day, marry whomever I was told to and eat homemade bread at every meal. The best part of the whole deal? I would never have to make any of those decisions myself! It's a win-win.
Living in 2020, there are so many expectations for things like “agency” and “individuality,” not to mention the unbearable pressure to maintain “good hygiene” and to not “endanger other people" by not following "basic procedures" like "social distancing" and "wearing a mask."
Completely ridiculous, I know, but what can we do?
These days, we're actually expected to take responsibility for our actions and do our best to be productive, beneficial members of society — or at least not actively put our communities at risk, which we all know is such an absurd request, right?
But we don’t live in the 1300s anymore, so maybe it’s time we stop acting like it. Wear a mask in public. Get tested for COVID-19. Get a flu shot. Take advantage of modern medicine, and take responsibility for your actions. Most importantly, do your part to keep our community safe. God's wounds.
Marie Plunkett is a 21-year-old classical studies senior from New Orleans.