I feel, at times, a new self pushing up through the old, dead one, like a fingernail after the original has been damaged. With this newish self comes a kind of urgency, an awareness that even with ‘re-opening’ — a return to ‘normal’ — things will not be put right (that maybe they were never right to begin with).
Counter-intuitively, the past year of relative isolation has meant a great divestiture of privacy, a surrender of inner-life to the hive-mind. Emptiness, a vague sense of scarcity seem to be the dominant mood; I meet a lot of people whose anxieties and ego-needs have hypertrophied during Covid, who seem more like children than adults, who have aged backwards.
Stuck on the island of the digital self, not everyone can become their own Crusoe — many just seem to starve or go mad. Shipwrecked in hypermodernity, we realize, after its too late, that we lack survival skills.