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Uploaded:2021-10-08
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Pizzamas rolls on: http://pizzamas.com
In which John returns to a script he wrote but did not film in early February of 2020 about uncertainty and "a feeling of impending doom."

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Good morning, Hank, it's Friday. Pizzamas rolls on.

So in early February 2020, I wrote a video script called "A Feeling of Impending Doom". I often write videos that never actually end up getting made, and in this case, I'm very grateful the video didn't get made, for reasons that will become obvious. But re-reading that script now, it is really interesting to consider what I knew and what I didn't know, and also what I thought I knew but didn't know. 

Okay, so when I am current me, in October of 2021, I will be wearing this shirt, available only during Pizzamas at pizzamas.com , and when I am February of 2020 me, I will wear this hoodie. Great hoodie, by the way.

Good morning, Hank, it's Tuesday. If you google, and I don't recommend doing this, by the way; do as I say, not as I do, but if you google the symptoms of a heart attack, one of them is a feeling of impending doom. Like, the medical profession often struggles with language, so I think we should give credit where credit is due. "A feeling of impending doom" is just perfectly evocative, but one of the big downsides of having a serious mental health disorder is that I often have a feeling of impending doom and no real way of knowing whether it's a heart attack or a panic attack or, you know, actual impending doom. 

Okay, I was obviously on to something here. Like, I had a feeling of impending doom in February of 2020, and that was warranted. Then there's this, which also holds up fairly well:

I'm a big fan of certainty; I think it's so underrated. Like, it is really nice to be able to wake up in the morning and plant your feet on the floor and feel certain that the floor is going to hold your weight.

Aww, buddy, if only you knew.

But certainty is also almost always an illusion. The more we grasp for certainty, the less we find it. And right now, uncertainty is creeping into my peripheral vision, and I'm beginning to doubt all of these realities that, until recently, felt totally assured.

Ah, geez, don't you want to just pinch his cute little cheeks? Okay, here's where we get to the part of the video that really does not hold up.

Like, it is very likely that in two months we'll all be like, "Wow, we sure overreacted to the threat of Coronavirus."

Very likely? Very likely. Very likely? No, I'm not sure it was ever "very likely". But when I'm trying to deal with uncertainty, I tend to look at past personal experience, and I could look back at 2009 and the H1N1 Flu, which was very serious and killed over 150,000 people worldwide, but didn't kill millions. And I could look back to SARS, which was extremely dangerous, but successfully contained. That said, by February of 2020, there was a lot of evidence that Covid was going to be different from either of those diseases. But I tend to look back at the past to predict the future, a phenomenon, that has some big flaws that I'll get to in a moment. But first, let's go to what February 2020 me thought was the "worst case scenario".

It's also possible that in two months, we'll all be like, "Coronavirus sure was catastrophic."

Was catastrophic? In two months we'll remember it as something that was catastrophic? I mean, you knew how infectious diseases work. You study this stuff! You're literally obsessed with it! How did you imagine a worse case scenario that was sixty days long? But here's the thing: Yes, we can use the past to understand the present and to imagine the future, and God knows you can use it more carefully than I did in that February 2020 video I thankfully never made. But what the past can't give us-- can't ever give us-- is certainty about the future, or, for that matter, about the present. And one of the big benefits of looking at the past is to remind us of that fact. Like, we can talk all we want about the seventeen causes of World War I or whatever, but nobody on earth on January 1st, 1914, had any idea what 1918 would look like. And that's one thing that hasn't changed between February 2020 and now. Living amid history demands a measure of humility, because we don't know. I have no idea what the world will look like twenty months from now. I would day, like, "I can't wait to find out", but, I feel like I can wait. I don't mind waiting.

Ah, positive ending to the video... Pizzamas is great. I mean, your number one source for pizza-related meme apparel continues to be pizzamas.com

Hank, I'll see you on Monday.