Living in a Present-Day Dystopia with Cyberpunk Tones
What a time to be alive. No literally, people around the world are dying from COVID-19, so if we are alive right now, we are lucky. Although honestly, life is a gift, so any day we are alive should be counted as lucky.
But something truly remarkable is happening right now. All around the world, we are experiencing a collective feeling and thought process. Over now 3.9 billion humans are in isolation right now, representing over half of humanity, most of them coming together through the internet, online virtual classrooms and meetings while practicing self-quarantine.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention
As people stay at home, and simply going outside presents a health risk, humanity is finding new and ingenious ways to get work done in safe ways. Like using this cyberpunk-looking UV machine to speed-decontaminate hospital rooms.
Returning to a New Normal
In China, where the Coronavirus is getting more under control as the number of cases levels off and drops, workers are returning to work under a new “normal” — with new social distancing measures in place.
Drones have already been, I would say, cyberpunk enough–it’s a relatively new trend, but something that has been growing a lot already in 2019. They can do cool things like debris removal on power lines with flamethrowers, or shoot fireworks at annoyingly loud neighbors.
What can’t they do?
But now with the Coronavirus, drones are a cool, futuristic, yet practical way to get work done remotely. Like walking your dog! Because dogs are immune to Coronavirus, so why not walk them with your drone?
It’s so surreal
The entire world is going into lockdown, and many might think this new, different, crazy world of confinement feels more like a dream than reality. In fact, it’s even been shown as a dream before, like in that scene at the beginning of Vanilla Sky where Tom Cruise finds himself in downtown Times Square, except all the streets everywhere is completely deserted, before he wakes up and realizes he was just dreaming. But now that wouldn’t seem like such a far-fetched dream, now, would it? Who else has ever in their lifetime experienced anything like this before?
The entirety of humanity has had to adapt due to the Coronavirus, as everything moves online. One of the starkest examples of this are the schools and universities around the world who have had to suddenly switch to online and virtual classes. Above is a science teacher live-streaming to her students using her phone and a tripod.
One online platform that has seen a huge growth in users has been the online meeting software zoom. Millions of people around the world are now using this platform for school or work, and are adjusting to their new virtual reality. I personally have started using this for work as well myself.
One cool thing I learned about Zoom is that for video, you can add a virtual background including a video of a beach by the sea with palm trees.
Just the Beginning of Virtual
This led me to think about Deepfakes, and what would happen if people started working online constantly using deepfakes. If that were the case, someone could actively mask their identity or pretend they were continuously someone else. Pretty Cyberpunk, no?
A New Normal with Masks Protecting from Coronavirus
As different regulations are passed, everyday people wearing masks is quickly becoming the norm. For some cultures like in Japan or China, masks might have been already somewhat ubiquitous, but to see them in places like New York City or Paris is incredibly new and surreal.
Eerie Emptiness thanks to COVID-19
All of a sudden, big usually-busy public squares are completely empty of humans. Mother nature is reclaiming its rightful claim on the world. Just look at the beautiful, eerily desolate pictures around the world from this Atlantic article: