Parallel (the fifth mini album)

I knew that, in the end, we will not cross the finish line before most of everyone else. It's just how things go.

The spoils always go to the rich countries first, and they almost always will be on the so-called western hemisphere. They have the means to create the vaccines, the funds to buy every available supply and all the rest that will come in the next year or so, and the means to get those vaccines into the arms of everyone within their borders.

This pandemic is just one example. History is littered with how these countries that have, by luck or force, locked up everything for themselves tend to move ahead before everyone else. And once they cross that proverbial finish line, they get first dibs on a lot of other things, naturally. Just take international travel. Does it matter if that's almost impossible for us at the moment? Our passport isn't powerful. They can go pretty much everywhere without a visa. We have all these hoops to jump to begin with. Nothing's different. The cycle continues. It's just how things go.

I've accepted it. I've accepted that there's really no chance that we'll be out of this hole early. (And that's not considering how the government decided to dig a deeper hole in response.) There's really no use to constantly compare how other countries are doing with how we are doing. Not even with our closest neighbors. Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, even Vietnam - they'll always be ahead of us. It's partly down to having made the right decisions, but mostly down to having the means to weather the storm. We constantly talk about resilience as being something we learn. They are resilient because they built the structures to ensure just that.

And yes, I know that I often cite what other countries are doing when I write about these things for the day job, but it's not so much to point at how we're being left behind. It's just how things go. Rather, it's about what we can learn from them. Whether these lessons will be even paid attention to is another matter, of course.

So, right now, I'm just waiting. I know it's unusual for me to suddenly be so trusting of those in power, considering how history is littered with examples of these people fucking everything up for everybody else just so they can get what they really wanted, but really, there isn't much I can do now. I mean, apart from cutting lines so I can get vaccinated, or refusing to get a jab just because it's a Chinese one I'm likely getting. All I can do is talk about how things can be better, and hope that someone was listening. Until then, I'll have to keep wearing a fucking face shield and wonder whether there is even a future for the vast majority of us who don't have the means to speed ahead in this wasteland.

At the same time, I'll see the radio stations I follow post about upcoming gigs. Upcoming, in-person, indoor, gigs. Sure, they're still a few months away, and a lot of things can still happen. We often lift Taiwan up as an example of how to decisively deal with the pandemic - a big feat considering how it's politically in the margins - but even they have seen a spike in recent days. Same with Singapore, who have now closed their airport for two weeks to prevent another influx of cases. But you just know that they'll be able to deal with it much better than we ever will. "Tis but a scratch," but without the irony. It's like we're living in parallel universes. We know that very well. We can see it. But we can't exactly go there. We'll just be falling asleep again and hope for a better dream to offset all that.

And your responses...

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