Restarting after a COVID-full spring, and summer

One post at a time. Please help.

Restarting after a COVID-full spring, and summer /img/out-of-hybernation.jpg

As my Twitter profile says, I attempt to _“research and explain how your rights and life depend on how software is used AROUND you” (to know more, see here and here).

As part of this activity, around June 2019 I committed myself to post on this website six short posts per week, each commenting some news, or concept, related to digital technologies and their impact on life, work, environments, politics and everything else.

This job, that requires a considerable effort and amount of time, went on until March 2020, when COVID19 locked Italy down, and turned the whole world upside down.

From March to May 2020 my family and I have been stuck at home, except a daughter stuck abroad, with… greatly reduced income, and bad news after bad news coming from the TV and the Internet. Just like many millions of other people in and outside Italy, of course. Then lockdown ended, but that just made things much more confusing, and precarious.

Right after the lockdown started I stopped the 6-weekly-posts routing. On one hand, there was the obligation to spend much more time than before to search for paid work, rather than just doing URGENTLY NEEDED work.

On the other, there almost everybody around me seemed to be obsessed by “getting our lives back, as they were in 2019”.

Getting our lives back?

Excuse me? As far as I was concerned, since the very beginning I have been worrying about two things:

  1. Getting Coronavirus, of course
  2. Getting back the same society and economy of 2019 after the pandemic

Growing inequality, mass anxiety, pollution, political polarization and instability… Both in Italy and abroad, “life as in 2019” had so much to improve that “let’s get those lives back” immediately seemed to me the worst thing we may do to recover after COVID19. If a meteorite destroys something that was giving you more problems than benefits, would you rebuild exactly as it was?

At another level, since the beginning I felt that Coronavirus was also a digital issue, that is close to my field of work, from this and many other points of view.

Finally, during every day of the lockdown I felt that Italy was a giant test-bed for the rest of the world, and had to relieve the pressure of daily news by connecting them to some larger picture.

So I started to collect COVID19 news, and insights about the long term social consequences of the human REACTIONS (political, economical…) to the pandemic.

I described what Coronavirus in Italy should mean for EVERYBODY, how Italy’s lockdown seemed a case of “future already here, just unevenly distributed”, suggested to not get useless answers to wrong questions, wondered if COVID19 has come one year too LATE, and much more, as you can see in these screenshots:

Restarting after a COVID-full spring, and summer /img/coronavirus-posts-1.jpg
<a href="/img/coronavirus-posts-2.jpg" target="_blank">click for another screenshot</a>


In all the same period, that is from March to late July, I also continued to collect and study tons of material for the “six posts a week” task. I was just unable to transform that material in posts.

So far, family and friends are in good health, and this is what matters. But streams of bad COVID19 news, the long term, post-pandemic thinking I just mentioned, bills to pay, and moments of pure and simple “brain exhaustion”, have filled every waking minute of the last five months.

Out of hybernation, at last

Last week, I have finally reached a point where both my brain and my desk are clear enough that I can start to organize all that material, and make posts out of it. Unless major work assignments arrive in the next two weeks (which would be very good news, of course), I should be done, that is have 6 (obviously backdated) posts per week from March on, by end of August, or early September. And then I will resume regular blogging. Because I am convinced even more than one year ago that the kind of simple “pills” of digital-related information and commentary I publish here is needed. It was needed in 2019, and is even more needed in a world that must urgently make appropriate use of technology, if we want to “get back” our real lives, instead of the ones we had one year ago.

Wish me good luck, and if you find useful the content of this site, or my other work, please support it as explained here, by donations, sharing and other means.

See you online, and stay safe, wherever you are!


Image source: screenshot of alaskan bear coming out of hybernation, from TripAdvisor