Some humans say trees are not sentient beings,
There's a common, though not universal, experience among parents. At some point, usually within the first year with a new baby, there's a moment (I use "moment" loosely) of panic at the idea that this is forever and you can't ever go back to "before." Not having the child anymore is nothing like never having the child to begin with. It's not regret, exactly, but it is a little bit like grief. Not about the presence of the baby, usually, but about the loss of before. You see it among newlyweds sometimes, too, or after any permanent life change. It's the sudden and overwhelming realization that something is irrevocably over.
Eventually, most of the time, changed recreates itself into normal and there comes enough good that couldn't have happened without the change that going back loses some of its lustre. But now and then, for a moment, panic.
I think that's a thing most of us have experienced at least a little bit lately. The prospect of "after" is glittering faintly on the horizon, but it's not going to be the same as before. It's always and forever going to be from now on.
We can struggle against that truth, and I have no doubts that as a global society we are going to struggle against it. Change is hard on an individual level and incomprehensible on a societal one. And yet.
We need to do the next thing. It seems impossible now, but much like that time my whole house got hit with norovirus at once, or the two solid years I went without more than four consecutive hours of sleep, it's going to seem completely impossible right up until we realize we've more or less done it. Like most impossible things, we'll do it because there isn't another option. We will build a post-covid world, eventually. If we're careful, it might even be beautiful.
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