Business not as usual – Nowy Dziennik

Nothing new about New Year’s resolutions. People postulate that they want (in this order): lose weight, get rich, spend more time with their families.

Eliza Sarnacka-Mahoney

If we expand this list a bit, we find out that they also plan to reduce the time they spend looking at photos and self-promotion of people they don’t know (aka consuming social media), be less nervous at work and cut down on living expenses.

Who would have thought that just two years ago, at this very time, so many of us declared that as soon as “this is all over”, we would stop worrying about such stupid things as what we look like and how much we had in our account, and wake up every day feeling grateful that we are alive at all. And also in what a beautiful corner of the universe we have come to spend this life and that it would not be stupid to take care of our common home more. We extended the concept of home in that extraordinary moment to our global human health. Who remembers how much was said then about investing in science, about creating a more effective, global network for exchanging research and ideas, and above all about an egalitarian system of access to treatment and disease prevention? According to the idea that only in this way we will be able to “win” with the air, which, as it turned out, remains a much greater and unpredictable enemy for us than the most depraved politicians and their decisions.

I think about all this contemplating the snow-covered tops of the trees under my feet. We went skiing because it’s the last call to use the passes that we bought but didn’t use three years ago.

The young man at the till at the slope where we had to check in to verify our identity greeted us with amazement.

“I didn’t know we were still honoring these tickets. Because the price reality is completely different today!

When he informs me that the cost of the daily ticket has increased by – considerable! – over 100 percent, at first I don’t believe it.

– The first, the biggest increase was right in the first season of the pandemic – he gladly explains to me. There is no one in line behind me, so he can spend more time with me. – The assumption is to scare people away for a while, because you know. Less nation, less risk of infection, and less chance for us to close completely every now and then. You know what the rules were then. Quarantine and so on. But where there! The 20/21 season drew the biggest crowds in our history. Last year the same, although we raised the prices even more. Honestly, I don’t understand any of it, because if I didn’t work here, I certainly wouldn’t be able to afford any skis.

“At least they pay you better for it?” Has something changed here? I ask.

He wrinkles his nose, then scratches it. Shrugs.

– I have a job. That’s the most important thing.

Oh, I understand. I’m not pulling his tongue.

A group of teenagers with me on the lift. They banter, they joke, they talk about school.

– No, it was still online! – at some point someone straightens something.

For a moment, as short as a breath, there is silence. Still, I can almost hear something grinding. Something pops off the rails. A failure of the gears in the brain, a flood of memories so close, and already so distant, unnecessary.

“Come on, stop it, it doesn’t matter anymore!” – shouts the rest of the friend and it’s fun again.

To be here and now – I remember my own New Year’s resolution. Stop dithering, stop digressing. Stop driving yourself crazy thinking about how it should be, how it could be, how it isn’t. That hope is only for naive and incorrigible dreamers. Maybe it will never be better? Not in our lifetime. Have we not received proof of this in the form of the latest war? In global realities, it takes place right under the nose of each of us. How quickly and skillfully each of us learned not to see it, not to talk about it, to steer clear of it like avoiding a homeless person on a bench or a stinking garbage can. The vision of a common, better managed and safer home for everyone turned into a charming view, which we not only took out of our hands, but also hung on the wall, letting reality do what it always does: its own.

Everything around: employees of the resort, joyful youth, ribbons of skiers winding up the slope unchanged in their appearance (although the view of them only for a moment, the ski lift will reach the top in a moment) – make me think that my New Year’s choice is reasonable. Certainly much easier to implement than the regime of diet, sport and even harder work to improve the balance of the bank account. Do not think. Keep going as if nothing had happened. Just enough. It’s really simple.

Suddenly a bang. The distinctive sound of a detonation that started an avalanche somewhere. Conscious, to the extent of our present capabilities, controlling the deadly element. At that moment, just a few chairs from the end of the ride, the lift stops. The youth is silent. We all turn our heads in the same direction at the same time. An unexpected moment of synchronization of thoughts and experiences.

I’m letting go. It’s hard. I can’t help but think. The last three years have happened. We’re not what we used to be. None of us are. How, after all, can we be affected the way we have been? The first global generation in the history of mankind, which, regardless of where they lived, experienced absolutely the same, physically and mentally, and even enriched their lexicons with words that sound identical in all languages ​​of the world.

Doesn’t it matter? We stumbled, we stood for a while, and now we still have business as usual? I refuse to believe it. we pretend. We’re better actors than we thought. However, let us wake up from this pretending as soon as possible. Deadly avalanches of all kinds are waiting. Not everyone can be controlled. We still have a long, long way to go.

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