The Spread

I had this morning off work, which gave me some extra time to catch up on a few things, including reading posts from other WordPress users. One of the posts I noticed was FANDANGO’S FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE. The picture prompt he gave us incited my thoughts…in a non-fiction direction…as you will see from my ramblings below the image.


A lot has happened in a short time hey! We have all seen dramatic events that we probably never imagined at the start of this year. One thing that has amazed me is the speed of this whole situation.

First of all the speed of the …you know… itself. When I looked at the photo Fandango provided us with, it helped me appreciate just how a virus can spread quickly. There are so many connections between people.

Coffee Shop, Shop, Coffee, CafeI think of my movements on an average day back in January, before our world changed. I could set off from my little nest and stop by one of the coffee shops on the high street. I would stand in a queue with half a dozen other people, and behind us would sit other customers perched on wooden chairs drinking their espresso and reading the paper.

Then I would head down to work. The closer I would get to work, the more people there would be. I would pass hundreds of people in just a fifteen minute walk. It would not be unusual to stand shoulder to shoulder waiting for the traffic lights to change with a group of thirty or forty people.

Oxford Circus Street Tube, Rush HourAt work, I would mix closely with both my colleagues and patients. After work, I would often head straight to the tube station and find myself squished on an underground train with scores of other people all racing across London at rush hour. I would enter a building with a hundred volunteers waiting for me to conduct a health and safety training session on an upcoming project. Lots of shaking hands, hugging and kisses on either cheek. Then some of my good friends and I would head out to a local eatery for some dinner.

After my journey home, I would often nip into the supermarket to buy some cashew milk or a tin of chickpeas. The back home walking along bustling pavements with drinkers and diners spilling into the road.

Piccadilly Circus, People, Crowd, BusyAnd here in London, all those hundreds of people I was in contact with on a daily basis, they are a snapshot of the whole world. I may have heard ten or more languages spoken throughout the day, for there are over three hundred languages spoken in London. Often I have no idea who lives here, or who is a tourist visiting London sites for fun. I have no idea where they have been or how many people they have been in contact with.

It’s so easy to envision how very quickly a virus can spread here.


But there was another thought that came to my mind. How incredibly quickly news spreads. Both accurate and inaccurate news. How quickly anxiety spreads, fear spreads, panic spreads.

Berlin, Christmas MarketA virus can clearly do a lot of damage in a short space of time. But what I have suddenly realized is that when information goes viral, it can spread like wildfire. We have seen the world change in a short time. We are hoping that the damage is not insurmountable. We are hoping to see a limit to the extent of hardship people suffer due to their livelihoods being discombobulated so quickly.

But what could the future hold? If media reports, sensationalist claims, propaganda spread with the kind of speed we have seen of late – what rash acts might be carried out?

It pays to be well rooted, and strong like a well-established tree. Do not be easily shifted by the flames of propaganda. For it can do more damage than we may comprehend right now.


This was my response to this weeks FANDANGO’S FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE.


13 thoughts on “The Spread”

  1. It’s a familiar routine but, as you say, easy to see how viruses both physiological and messages can spread so easily. There a lots of advantages to living in a global society but I think we are facing the disadvantages in 2020. I hope you had a good morning off!

    Liked by 2 people

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