As fear of the elevator button, of the ATM keyboard, of flat, gleaming surfaces…sneaking new forms of dread grip us today. Maybe they will linger and become part of our bouquet of bodily reflexes, long after the corona pandemic blows over. Will we fear that man next to us on the Metro? Animals? Currency notes? Will our enduring bequest be a supermart tray full of irrational new tics, pangs and OCDs? We will have to live long enough to find out.
But there’s one ancient figure of fear among them, one that has always been with us, a dull, thick presentiment of pain that is newly sharper. A transparent, polycarbonate, soulless piece of fear that comes swishing through the spring air like a whip.