Just to give you a little taster, I decided to post a book sample of the telling book that examines the contagion under the lens mapping its first year. So let’s take the fear out of the pandemic and rebuild the ties that were broken. The way forward begins here.
The Great Lockdown Journals
I bring to you a story. A true one. A story so unbelievable, you will have to tell your grandchildren. This story may just go down in history as the greatest global catastrophe in modern times. The thing about this story is that it isn’t finished yet. We may not even have arrived at the eye of the storm. That’s the scary thing. The thing we all understand. The thing that makes us hold our breath. And some of us our faith.
Since the onset of the coronavirus, with insight to see that some looming darkness had been released, I’ve kept a detailed journal for one purpose. To put the pandemic under the microscope. I knew this was a story that had to be told. One year since the onset of the global lockdown, we’ll take a look at some of the major things that have transpired.
Years ago I was a freelance journalist and was building up my portfolio before I set it all aside to concentrate on writing books. Now, these two meet with the creation of this manuscript. For about ten years I’ve written a blog with such consistency that I now have around 400 posts, and counting. While most of the content is faith-based, over the years I’ve also covered everything from fashion to travel, and sports to politics, as well as current events if something deeply inspired me or had a strong impact on me. Presently nothing is doing that more than Covid-19, the virus that single-handedly brought the world to a standstill.
When I sat down to organize the manuscript, I felt overwhelmed with everything I’d learned. It’s been one of my biggest undertakings. With my heart in my mouth, I bring it to you.
As an author and journalist, I feel a sense of duty to bear witness to history. This sense of loyalty to society accompanied by some great compelling has inspired me to write about life during the lockdown. To keep a record of it. What was going on around the world while I sat in my little corner tucked away in the south of Spain?
I’m well aware that some of you may find the book controversial. Difficult and complex subjects bring this element with them more often than not; that doesn’t mean we should avoid them. This book is meant to leave a written record of the Great Lockdown, to equip us for moving forward, and to reunite us in hope.
I’ve titled this book The Great Lockdown Journals: Losing the Old Normal as the World was Bound because I think that is our biggest loss, and our biggest danger, collectively. Losing our normality. I’m still in shock over everything that has transpired since the end of 2019 and the beginning of the fall of democracy. When I step outside and see people all masked up, it takes my breath away. When I try to book a flight to America to visit my family, and I can’t be sure of the best strategy, I’m still in shock.
Do I book a ticket now in case the fare goes up? Do I wait and take my PCR test and then book a flight? Will I have to quarantine on arrival? Each week the scenario changes making long-distance travel, or any travel, for that matter, risky, and me uneasy with it.
I sit and look longingly out across the Med where I can see sharp contours of the Rif Mountains over in Africa made more intense by the crisp, clean air. I’d love to hop on a ferry and go for a wander. But I can’t. A year on and it hasn’t quite sunk in. Morocco is shut.
I still pop out of the car and forget to grab my mask. It’s like, subconsciously, I’m not accepting it. Perhaps that’s because, rationally, I know it’s not right. And yet somehow, it’s our New Normal. At least for the moment.
Once this coronavirus has left us, we will have a different New Normal to face, because the situation is constantly shifting. With over a year behind us, the New Normal is still taking shape. And no one can say for sure what it will look like. I think this is what frightens people the most. All the uncertainly, with no transparency from the governing bodies that made the world stand still.
For instance, here’s something I wrote when I first sat down to write this book in June 2020. “I suspect more lockdowns will follow as the years pass. As I write this from the Iberian Peninsula, certain regions have already de-escalated and re-escalated here. Even Madrid has locked down again. It seems to me, we’ve become a Corona Culture, and so easily at that.”
Months have gone by, and my prediction has proven to be true. More lockdowns have come and gone, and something new is still emerging, along with new variants, including VOCs (the trendy new way to refer to variants of concern) as the virus keeps mutating. And by the time this book finds its audience, things will have shifted again. But what will remain unchanged is that we will still be hanging in the balance of the state of alarm, in pandemic mode. For some, still in panic mode.
I want to take some of the panic out of it, and get to the facts, the raw data.
The world has changed overnight, and I’m going to tell a series of tales from around the globe, one at a time. These entries range from accounts of those I know to news clips as well as things I myself have witnessed. One can’t be an effective journalist without having a keen eye for detail, as well as insight, and I trust I’ve encapsulated both in this book. Completing this manuscript has been a greater challenge than I could have imagined, simply because each day the world looks a bit different. Daily life is fluid as the respective numbers of Covid cases rise. One day a new country de-escalates a little bit from lockdown as another country increases its restrictions. All the while, other countries implement drastic measures and new regulations to combat the threat.
Another challenge of epic proportions I’ve faced while putting the pandemic under the microscope has been trying to relay what I’ve dissected without sensationalizing it, and trying to keep it from being too overwhelming, heavy, and burdensome. And to relay it in a helpful way. The bare truth—many people don’t want it.
In fact, the gist of Proverbs 9:8-9 reads something like this: “Correct a fool, and he will hate you. Correct a wise man, and he will love you, and he will be wiser still.”
There are two basic opinions surrounding the pandemic. These are so black and white there seems no room for a gray area, with each view so fiercely held that lifelong friendships, families, and close relationships have been ripped apart by the opposing stances, with each side thinking proponents of the opposing view foolish. Blind.
The prevailing tensions have seeped into institutions, too, including churches where major divisions have emerged. I look mostly to America to try and understand these rifts because it seems this is where the eyes of the world are. Divisions there appear to be politically motivated. If you’re a Democrat, you buy into the mainstream narrative and support the WHO, the CDC, and the media. You’re sheltering in place and resent individuals who don’t wear masks. You think President Trump was a dictator, unintelligent, and unable to cope with a crisis. If you’re a Republican, your opinion couldn’t be any more polarized. The President was a Messianic figure on a mission. To save the world and make America great again. You think the media is entirely one-sided and presenting a false flag. And you don’t wear a mask. You might not even want a vaccine.
In my recollection, the media has never villainized any previous president like they did Trump. Not Nixon. Not Bush – father or son. Not even Bill Clinton.
Online platforms like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook have removed numerous videos that support conspiracy theories by claiming they contain inappropriate content that could be harmful and spread disinformation. Censorship is in full force. But by so doing, many would say they have crossed the line by violating the constitution’s first amendment: Freedom of speech.
But then, the coronavirus has stripped away many of our liberties.
It seems politics may indeed be permeating Covid-19. Viewing the situation through a microscope, there can be no side-stepping that fact. The coronavirus is bound up with agendas of epic proportions. But my chief focus is fourfold: to leave a written record of the Covid-19 global lockdown; to portray how the face of the world shifted almost overnight; to examine the science and data, and to reunite us and give us hope and courage.
For me, what’s been lacking throughout this period is a sense of reason. Plandemic. Scamdemic. Convid. Whatever you want to call it, we’ve been engaged in a war. A war the likes of which we’d never seen. This war involves medicine, science, technology, control, liberty, economics, and every civilian on the planet . . . and the enemy’s face is invisible.
Just as the accounts of WWI and WWII live on through books and media, calling for us to remember them, I don’t want the public to forget the lockdown. Through these stories and accounts, I want the memory to live on. When the lockdowns lift, and we begin to adjust to our New Normal, I don’t want the world to forget how the earth changed overnight. Forever.
Our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will look to books, films, and the media and wonder what life was like for us before this battle. My fear is they will ask what freedom looked like. The impact this has had on the collective psyche is severe. I find myself watching films from recent years, thinking, “Wow! Look at the size of the crowd! Everyone’s together. Smiling. Socializing. No one’s wearing masks. It’s incredible! They’re enjoying their liberties!” Unlike us, hampered by non-essential store closures, night-time curfews, and severe travel restrictions. With all of it being an overreach.
As disturbing as all of this may be, I want to leave the reader with hope. Hope combats fear. You can only hold one or the other, and you must choose. Know that no deed done is hidden from God’s sight. And he has a plan. A good one. As it unfolds, do not lose heart. Stand firm. Consider that 365 times in the Scripture God encourages us to fear not. That’s once for each day of the year.
Regarding the reconciliation of people, I ask myself, “Is this possible?” Americans particularly. We’re so divided. We are treating each other poorly, and saying horrible things to one another. For what? Even Christians are severely divided. So many people are treating those that stand in opposition to their beliefs and opinions as if there were imbeciles, fools, crazy people, or just plain stupid. Manipulative memes go up on social media to dissuade people from having their own opinions. To make it look like people that disagree with mainstream media are dangerous to society. It’s not true! Don’t believe it! It’s time to employ critical thinking!
We will never all unite in one opinion on all these divisive issues. We shouldn’t have to. We’re each cut from a different cloth. There’s so much to disagree about. How the virus began. The best treatment. Masks. Vaccines. 5G. Cover-ups and conspiracies. I will explore all of these matters. But I want us to reunite. We must back up and find a place of consensus. We certainly all agree that we have the right to our opinion. And that we have the right to express it. If we lose this right, we lose the battle. Let’s love one another, be good to one another, and leave no one behind!
In writing this book, I’m not claiming to be an expert in any scientific field. But I have spent years writing and researching. I am insightful and intuitive, and I know how to put down in words what I have uncovered. A spectator, as well as a player on the field, I’m here to report on the score.
Sample from The Great Lockdown Journals by Jori Aguilar Sams
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…