Isaac Asimov envisioned
a world where people lived apart
and only “viewed” and never “saw” others.
A world where if people had to touch,
they did so with masks and gloved hands.
What will our world be in the aftermath?
Will we ever feel safe “seeing” instead of “viewing?”
Will we ever freely touch another without
masks or gloves or panic?
Providing that economies survive
and travel is reinstated
and suspicion does not lead to hate
of the unknown and unknowable.
Providing that the morgues and funeral homes
ever empty of the dead and
there are enough doctors and nurses alive
to treat broken hips and herniated discs.
Providing that elections can proceed
and democracies do not falter
and the smooth transition of power
transfers smoothly and fairly without bloodshed.
Providing all the possible nightmares
do not come to life from the darkness
of people’s souls
and gracious kindness endures.
Providing that wretchedness gives
way to love then seeing will always be
better than viewing and touching will always be
life-giving instead of life-taking, and
Isaac Asimov will remain a writer of fiction and
not a prophet of the future.
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