July 6, 2022

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column |  Antibiotic - NRC

column | Antibiotic – NRC

I am sitting around the table with my group of friends. We’ve been friends since I was eighteen – exactly half of my life. Talk, as so often in recent times, about old age. One says, “I have a lot more wrinkles than you think.” “You don’t know it because it’s hidden behind my glasses.” She seems to have revealed a horrific secret. Another asks if she should suddenly dye her gray hair, and another says that she has been suffering from a lot of physical ailments lately. “I recently hit my back when I had to sneeze.” “But you know that in your 30s you should sneeze in recovery mode?” , says the friend, who has been bald since he was 22 and has since been “complete,” as he puts it, with his unsteadiness.

Earlier that week, a friend asked me if I also felt old when I was sitting on the porch among the young people – suddenly there was a different kind – and another, in his mid-twenties, felt sorry that in the old photos he’s still a little god “was”, while it is now “corrupt”.

It’s not about age: people who are older or younger than me have the same feelings. I was 43 when the epidemic started. Now I’m 60,” Editor Stephen Keretz recently wrote New York times† In the article he describes how, in two years, he merged with the “home jacket” and how the run was too much for him.

What is the word for this feeling? I call it an ‘antibiotic’, for lack of a good antibiotic. More important is the question of where it came from. temper nature Published earlier this year about research that suggests people not only age faster because of the aura itself, but also because of the loneliness and stress caused by shutdowns. “Uh!” People shouted on social media. “That explains why I suddenly feel so much older.”

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But does that really explain it? Many of the people I’m talking about, myself included, haven’t lived under extreme stress. We didn’t have to be afraid of dying because of Corona, we didn’t isolate in a nursing home. In addition, the file temper nature It is likely that the described effects will be noticeable in the long term.

I don’t think the anti-biotic feeling is about aging faster, but about increasing awareness of it. The thing about the pandemic is that we’re suddenly paying attention to our relationship with time, Kieran Setia, a philosopher at MIT, said in a recent podcast. reconsidering: “How time flies away, options shrink and we end up in a rut.” The classic feeling of a midlife crisis. Setiya wrote a book on this just before the pandemic: mid-age. Philosophical guide

I thought I was too young for a midlife crisis, but when Setia was 35, I started reading this book. Philosopher John Stuart Mill actually experienced it when he was twenty. “Midlife crisis” is perhaps a misleading term, referring to existential crises that can overtake you at any time – but especially, due to circumstances, when you think about your life and the time you have significantly left. According to Stia, the pandemic was the perfect circumstance because we had so much time and so little work.

This was reinforced by the strange contrast of boredom and time-of-flight: right Because Little happened, when you look back, these two years seem to fit into a few months. But two years have passed already. The years have propelled some of us into a new phase of life at an accelerated pace. There are elderly people who used to exercise weekly before the epidemic, had to stop, and now the vitality has decreased. There are young people who lived “Days in the Sun” and “Endless Nights” before Corona, where the singer Fruki sings in the song. shouting (2021), and now you find: “We will not go back to that time.” There are people in their thirties who went to festivals three years ago and now spend their weekends staring at birds with binoculars. This leads to bewilderment: yesterday I was someone else, what happened?

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Froggy’s voice sounds in my head, “I don’t remember who I was before it all started.” But then the friend who hides wrinkled texts: She found old photos of us on her hard drive. As it turned out: did not look. Young, yes, but also uncomfortable and out of style. “I will send you the lowest, for the sake of strengthening your middle-aged ego.”

Fleur Rossmann ([email protected]) Editor at Norwegian Refugee Council