Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace Have no delight to pass away the time, Unless to see my shadow in the sun And descant on mine own deformity. And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover To entertain these fair well-spoken days, I am determinèd to prove a villain And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
– Act 1 Sc 1 Richard III- Shakespeare
cue: heavy bass drum + tom n snare intro cue: bass riff cue: Strat intro
mm “M-m-m- my Corona!” Wooooooo!
… you get the idea – I think…
But how am I determined to prove a villain? The days are certainly fair and well-spoken of. Yes, there is nothing much to do in this weak piping time of peace. Quarantine is quarantine, after all – even though supermarkets, trains, planes and automobiles are liberally peopled. A lock down it ain’t. At least not here in Tokyo.
It is voluntary, you know. We are counting on your sense of social responsibility, that you stay at home, and if you do go out, that you maintain social distancing of 2 meters or more. News reports show data collected from cell phones, that the usually well peopled places such as Shibuya, Shinjuku and Ueno are peopled less by a substantial 75%. So the question is, what are the 25% doing gadding about and frolicking whilst the rest of “us” (responsible beings that we are) are subjecting ourselves, and our imprisoned loved ones, to yet another cute parrot video on YouTube.
“Mommy, mommy…Look at ME!”
Wot? Again? Didn’t I look at you just before? Why do you insist on ALL of this attention? – repeat on loop….
How do I know this? Teachers keep in touch with students at home via the various apps designed for just such an event and get to see into numerous homes. Mostly these recorded video conferences have in common the cameo appearances of younger siblings (often screaming and crying), bedraggled mothers, a background of plastic junk-toys liberally scattered to all corners and….. not a moment of peace.
“See you later. Bye-bye…. nice to see you!” – click. Thank God for that!
Online classrooms are the perfect classrooms as there are no behavioural issues to contend with. The Jakes, Dylans and Lukes stay at home and are the responsibility of those who chose to bring them into existence in the first place, rightly so. There is the freedom to walk away and to leave what is yet undone to another time. There is though one fly in the ointment, as there has to be, and that is the almost constant pull to the fridge to graze once more on last night’s apple crumble, or to gaze wistfully at another absolute necessity in an online catalogue and click the “buy now” button before reason kicks in. Weight is rapidly found or regained and spaces, once enjoying the luxury of emptiness, are now filled with trinkets the results of impulse.
TBH, what is being highlighted by these Corona Times is that online schooling is fully possible. The tech tools are there to facilitate it. And…. well that is about it. There it is. There is absolutely no need for schools any more as all curriculum can be delivered safely to homes via bots and vids. No more sick puking kids scattering their germs to their peers trapped and herded together in classrooms. No more of any of that communal stuff, actually. Why bother with all the fuss? It really does show us that the idea of “school” is probably well worn out and can be quietly shoved aside for a more open laissez faire approach to education, life in general and..everything else.
Kids at home more would lead to greater interaction between neighbours. Greater interaction between neighbours would lead to a strengthened community, inclusion, caring, sharing and less need for speed. We are learning that there really is no need to go out shopping. There is contentment to be found in a simple walk with family, taking time to connect meaningfully with friends, and sharing thoughts with a quiet mind given space to ruminate.
There is an end to everything.