Over the last couple of weeks there has been an increasing number of once-idle websites coming back to life as people sit down to write — sometimes for the first time in years — blog posts lamenting the loss of liberties as a result of the global spread of the Wuhan virus1. The message seems to be the same regardless of where the writer lives: restrictions suck, working from home, and wash your hands. Few of the posts seem to have very much positive to say, even when a person has the opportunity to work from the comfort of their house on a temporary basis, and the stress people are feeling can certainly be gleaned from the word choices used. All in all, I'm quite happy to see many of the old RSS feeds show signs of activity in the reader after such a long absence, but I do wonder whether writers will choose to continue blogging for the foreseeable future or if their sites will go idle once again when governments declare it safe to resume our lives.
Is blogging now something that people do when they're bored? Or is it seen more as a semi-formal medium where ideas that appear worthwhile are explored, unlike the ephemeral posts that dot many highly-interactive social platforms.
Either way, I do hope that some of the bloggers do stick around after the pandemic comes to an end. There are a lot of really insightful people who used to put out solid articles every couple of days or once a week that often explored an idea that I knew little about or from an angle that I hadn't considered. These posts were the highlight of my commute many years ago and would often give me a lot to think about afterwards. Hopefully this isn't simply a case of writers being bored and choosing to vent frustrations as a one-off exercise.
Otherwise known as COVID-19; "the coronavirus".