It’s Tuesday night, and the first proper thunderstorm of the year is raging outside. I’m not above admitting that I’m experiencing some fairly severe anxiety over everything happening in the US right now. It’s funny – I left Russia when I was 16, and I never followed its politics since then. It’s been over a year since I left the US, and I can’t stop worrying about it. (On the upside, I spent less time following the presidential primaries than ever before. For a political science major, that’s a pretty big achievement.)

The violence in the US is escalating: last night, helicopters in DC flew just above the ground, terrifying the protesters. People on social media are posting about being pulled over, the police pointing weapons in their faces and detaining them without charges in giant groups. (Hello, second wave.) Today, there are armed men who wouldn’t say who they work for (only that they’re “with the Justice Department”), there are soldiers with bayonets attached to their rifles, there are more videos of brutality. All 50 states are protesting. A cop in Las Vegas got shot in the back of his head – he’s currently on life support.

…this won’t end anytime soon, will it?

In covid news, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is having a remarkably bad year. Ebola is back, with two separate outbreaks happening at the same time. On top of that, there’s a measles outbreak. And on top of all that, there’s covid. Sitting here, in my giant rental room with all the basic conveniences, I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to dodge not one but three separate viruses at once… There are reports that the Afghan Taliban’s leader died of covid. If so, that’d make him the first major geopolitical figure to succumb to the virus. (For a while there, there were rumours of Kim Jong-un’s death.)

…at some point, perhaps within a year, this will all get resolved. Some police accountability reform will pass in the US. A viable vaccine will get developed. The world will calm the fuck down. The lost jobs will return, though the universal basic income will get adopted by some parts of the world. The stock market will recover. I’ll get my permanent residency and become a real Canadian. All shall be well. But here and now, there’s nothing at all to be done: merely going outside and trying to be helpful could make you not merely sick but an asymptomatic spreader, the virus’s pawn. So here I am. Sitting. Writing. Future-leaping. I’ll try to distract myself from all the news by deep-diving into some TV show: it’s been a while since I watched Walking Dead. Perhaps some artsy gritty dystopia that’s objectively worse than this reality (thus far, anyway) will do the trick, if only for a while.

Stay safe out there, folks.