Random Thoughts 102

Life in a Bubble

Self-isolation resulting from the pandemic often makes me feel as though I am living in a bubble. The bubble is my tiny apartment from which I rarely venture forth, save for the necessary visit to the dentist or the solitary walk when the weather is good. The Internet and TV provide windows on the world outside enabling me to view events both local and global without physically being there. I am safe and protected in my bubble.

It sort of reminds me of the central character in Kobo Abe’s The Box Man, the story about a man who suddenly decided to live his life in a large cardboard box. He fashions it so that he has what he needs in it and through a viewing portal he can watch the world around him while being unobserved himself. That cardboard box was his bubble.

Being in a bubble makes one an observer rather than a participant. Unlike the box man who needs to venture forth out into the world to observe it, thanks to all the technology today, that is not necessary. It is possible to observe all sorts of things from the comfort of my bubble. And the diversity of images and scenes that are shown is amazing. World and local news relate what is happening, whether it be the latest numbers in Covid-19 infections and deaths, political demonstrations in various parts of the world, and other news items both good and bad. Then there are the variety shows and other TV programs that often present idyllic pictures where the content of the program and comments and actions of the participants make it seem that all is well in the world. It is as though they appear to be in a bubble of their own sort, one in which the realities of the real world do not exist.

Few expect the pandemic to end soon. It appears likely that it could last for at least another year or two. Increasingly it seems that everyone is gradually accepting this fact and realizing that we must find ways to live with it; the “with corona virus” mentality. Hopes that there will be breakthroughs in the development of vaccines likewise contribute to this. What I wonder about, though, is if and when the pandemic does end whether I will decide to remain in my bubble or once again venture forth out into the real world.


Professor Emeritus Richard A. Moe teaches high quality English speaking skills.

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駒澤大学名誉教授 モエ・リチャード先生  英会話と英語発音の指導歴45年以上の経験を持つプロフェッショナル


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