Log: Zero

Worm Date: 0.006

In spite of the call center outbreak in Seoul, it sounds like the bug cases are continuing to level off. I don’t expect Normal to return anytime soon –if ever– but Normal is always whatever you’re used to anyway, and at least this thing is being slowed down. What can you do? We’re in The Hermitage of The Worm God Zero now. That’s where we’ll stay.

At the very least, the phone has stopped pinging with constant emergency alerts and has been pretty quiet for a while. Those used to be pretty annoying but, looking back at it and contrasting it with the multitude of perspectives and blind panics I’ve seen since America dipped its toes into the Hermitage, these beeps might have been a good thing. They were one steady voice. Annoying, at times, but it might have been preferable to the deluge of Questionable Ideas and Breaking News. You knew where the voice was coming from. Possibly, the frequency and intrusiveness of these alerts drowned out a lot of other bullshit.

The alerts that come in now usually have something to do with psychological support. Numbers to call, that sort of thing. I can’t be sure but my guess is that this may be related to the suicides. There’s been a couple. In both cases women. Both scenarios seem pretty similar. Both women were members of the cult. (In America, this organization would likely be just called a ‘megachurch’, which tells you more about America and megachurches than it does about this cult.) An outbreak started in this cult and, as a result of the investigation into that, these women’s husbands found out that their wives were secret members.

Stuck in self-isolation with each other, a lot of anger, fighting and abuse followed. The women jumped to their deaths. It must have been a nightmare. Just a terrible tragedy.

It drives home a couple of things. The first is, just how terrible this is going to be –already is– for people living with domestic violence. Serious measures need to be taken on this problem — and not just on the punishment side. Anyone in an abusive situation should not get trapped into an even worse situation by this crisis. Anyone in a situation that is evolving into abuse, should not be or feel trapped by this crisis. To some degree, some of this is probably, more or less, unavoidable. But anyone who needs to escape should be able to escape. The resources need to be there for that. If they’re not, we might need to provide them. Maybe open up to some house-guests. It’s not ideal but it’s vital.

I have no idea how all that would work. I just hope some smart people are on it.

It also shows just how important it is to go easy on each other. Like, that cult isn’t exactly blameless –last I heard, their leader was being investigated for negligent homicide– and I’m not saying that nothing should be done about that group. Yet, as strict as we have to be, we also have to proceed quietly and intelligently on these matters. Because where the fuck does a lot of noisy blame get us? It just gets people jumping out of windows. People have an urge to point fingers at a time like this and what happens is, somewhere, those fingers turn into fists and those fists beat the people least deserving of a beating and least able to defend themselves. It’s something I hope my North American readers keep in mind.

There are going to be problems. At some point, there will be someone to blame. They might even deserve some blame. But be careful of blame. Very careful. Blame is explosive.

And even if that blame is deserved? That doesn’t make it less explosive. Tell a corpse that you were right. It won’t care. So be very fucking careful.

I mean, hell, right now, I’m stressed about making fun of toilet paper hoarders. But, yeesh, toilet paper? Seriously?

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