The Matrix 2020

A sinister hacker released a malevolent virus that caused the world to stop and thrust everyone into a treadmill. We are going nowhere, but we tread on the illusion of motion. Year 2020 is a long “Black Mirror” episode.

Individually we are inert but our attempts to keep up with the rapid pace of changes happening around leave us in existential isolation.

Our heads are spinning, having been forced to adopt new sets of behavior, practices and values that abruptly relegated everything that we knew to a far distant past.

With the nonstop surge in Covid-19 cases, those of us who are “non-essentials” are required to contribute to the battle against the pandemic by not doing anything other than to wear our masks, stay home, practice social distancing and streamline our social life. Our social affairs have become a drive-thru routine. We drop by, we say hi and wave goodbye.

Families on death watch rely on technological devices. Instead of hugs, they have their hands pressed against the glass wall, saying their final goodbyes through tears, much like those scenes from Netflix drama series.

While 2020 will go down in history for a Wuhan virus that defies borders, it will also be remembered as the year that pushed us all into one place — the virtual world.

Traditional classrooms have been shuttered. Trained or not, teachers must teach online. With or without a dependable internet service, students must learn online. This Covid-stricken school year is a struggling experiment. While it forces everyone to upgrade the version of themselves to 2.0 and adapt to the inevitable digital migration, online education is beginning to reveal the gaps it creates. Whether or not it’s effective, the future product of this year’s education will tell.

Workplaces have become quiet spaces, while our homes now double as offices. Working in pajamas is no longer a sketch for sitcoms. The social distancing mandate has made teleworking imperative. Human resource experts are still weighing the pros and cons of allowing employees to work from home. In the same manner, employees are loving and hating at the same time.

Zoom became part of our daily vocabulary. It eliminated distance, cut the need for a physical meeting venue and shrunk the world smaller. Office meetings are conducted, business deals are closed and conferences’ agenda are tackled without anyone having to leave home and without everyone shaking hands. The pandemic has created a world