“To boldly go where no man has gone before…unless there’s a virus loose.”
I have always been a fan of this show’s original series. Though it dates me, I was glued to the TV when the first episode aired way back in September of 1966. Its theme of exploring “the final frontier” appealed to my nascent sense of adventure. And though I remained regrettably earthbound in the decades that followed, I nevertheless pursued my own brand of brave explorations, winding up enjoying my golden years in a foreign country instead of some Sun Belt retirement community in the U.S.
Thank you, Captain Kirk!
In the first season of Star Trek, there was an episode called The Return of the Archons. In this the Enterprise comes across a planet (Beta III in the C-111 system — I had to look this up) where people have been absorbed into “the body”, where independent thinking is not tolerated. Much like Fox News, except in this case the culprit was a centuries old computer. When it had to take itself offline for an extended period, presumably to install new updates, all hell would break loose. Freed from its restraints, women were assaulted, storefronts broken into, and hats wildly tossed into the air with everyone shrieking, “Festival! Festival!”.
Thailand’s version of this is called the Songkran Festival and involves lots and lots of water. Each year in mid April my street degenerates into three days’ worth of squirt gun battles with nonstop yelling. Going out risks a drenching, so I stay indoors for the duration, keeping a low profile — much like those few Beta III denizens who avoided getting absorbed.
Although there’s no omnipotent computer to bring the Songkran madness to a halt, covid-19 has managed something even better. In order to try and lessen its spread, this year’s festivities have been cancelled. Since this is an occasion when families traditionally get together, it is hoped that most people will instead remain home and not pass on any infection. (Though the horse may already be out of the barn.)
As for me, once again I’ll be confined to my apartment, but avoiding a virus instead of dueling squirt guns.
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