Welcome to Alphaday 11, Season XVI. We’ve enjoyed many inspirational writerly experiences this season and there’s still plenty to come over the next, final, three Alphadays. This is our last full Alphaday with all the usual treats on the agenda before we gradually close down for our annual rest from Alpha tasks.
This is a difficult time for everybody, but while there are so many activities that are no longer possible we can at least enjoy taking part in the full range of Alpha items on this agenda:
- This bulletin from me
- The results of the ‘Terror’ challenge from Morgen
- The collated entries for the ‘drabble’ challenge from Phil
- A call for entries to The Open Page, 3rd edition, from Christine
- A call for Log contributions from Phil
- A Writers’ Reads prompt from Linda
All this has been put together for your benefit, partly by those who’ve organised the items, and partly, of course, by all of us with our individual input.
There is no particular Alpha news this time. We carry on as best we can and settle down shielded from the outside world while making the most of the extra spare time and the social media to keep in touch with friends and relations and follow the course of events in the world.
I prefer to avoid the general news that hits all the headlines and pick up something of literary or arty interest. Covid-19 is too big to ignore. Some of the things we used to take for granted will have changed after its devastating passage.
Somebody pointed out that top scientists, David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg, Greenpeace et al. failed to persuade the world to reduce carbon emissions to save the planet. Covid-19 succeeded; air pollution is vastly reduced and arctic glaciers might soon stop disintegrating.
There are other advantages as well: shoplifting is harder with no crowds to hide in; burglaries aren’t easy with everybody staying in … as we do, protesting that all’s well, that we’re finding new ways of occupying ourselves constructively. We might end up with carefully ordered societies where citizens do as they’re told and never misbehave.
Only the worst dictators have achieved such a strong hold on populations … until Covid-19 came along. Is there any hope that we can restore a society where freedom reigns – and mistakes happen? I think the operative word here is ‘Hope’. As long as we hang on to the hope that we can be freed from the fear of death wiping out so many people whose lives we care about, then we can bear the deprivations and emerge chastened after the ordeal.
As for that cynical misanthrope named Malthus … go and get lost, Malthus!