THAT was what Roman cartographers wrote at the edge of ancient maps which signified the end of explored and known lands. Literally, it means "Here Are Lions." But it was not only lions that were drawn but also other beasts like dragons and sea serpents. These were signs and perhaps even warnings to travelers of the dangers that could be awaiting them as they entered into these unknown places.
Most of us are terrified of the unknown simply because it is. We all need security; we all need something to hold on to and when that is gone, we are afraid. And if we look at this world we are in now, lions and dragons seem to be emerging from places we never dreamed of.
In the air that we breathe, in the water that we drink, in the soil that we tread upon. January was not a good way to start the decade. War was close, a volcano erupted, fires ravaged the land. The nCoV epidemic that is spreading quickly. There are reports it is airborne. The very air which supports us gives us life could very well cause death. The earth in which we walk on heaves and trembles due to earthquakes. We wait for the next tremor with anxiety and we shudder when someone coughs or sneezes. We live in a world with dragons and lions and there is nothing we can do. Every day you watch news that is proof that humanity has gone the deep end. Hunger, mass shootings, floods, drought. An economic and military power brought down on its knees by something microscopic.
When this virus started to spread in Wuhan, there was this picture of the city of 11 million people. It looked like a ghost town with only a few people daring to walk around. There was no traffic, business were closed, no pedestrians, no laughter, no neon lights. There was nothing.
When I saw that picture, it felt like we were back in the Stone Ages. Everyone was in their caves, hiding, because of the dangers that lurked outside. After hundreds of years nothing had changed really. We were and we are back in the Stone Ages where people hide in caves.
There is so much uncertainty today. Dragons live. Lions prowl. A lot seem to overwhelm us. Tomorrow looks bleak, unnerving even. But we must go on. We must destroy the dragons and the lions that paralyze us.
But how? How do we fight panic? The unknown? Despair? Well, we watch Crash Landing on You. Why? Go watch it and perhaps you will understand that dragons and lions can be faced.