There is nothing like a little 20th-Century French thought to help process just how long this quarantine will go on:
Man is nothing else but what he purposes, he exists only in so far as he realizes himself, he is therefore nothing else but the sum of his actions, nothing else but what his life is. (Jean-Paul Sartre)
If this myth is tragic, that is because its hero is conscious. Where would his torture be, indeed, if at every step the hope of succeeding upheld him? The workman of today works every day of his life at the same tasks, and his fate is no less absurd. But is tragic only at the rare moments when it becomes conscious. (Albert Camus)
Existentialists tend to discourse on our sorry lot as humans in this life, caged between birth and death, trapped in this existence, the terror and nausea of realizing how lousy it all really is. Friedrich Nietzsche referred to this terror as the greatest weight: What if this life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence — even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself.
The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again, and you with it, a speck of dust!
Jean-Paul Sartre expounded on the horror in his play No Exit: You have stolen my face from me: you know it and I no longer do. Luckily, thanks to our evolved sensibilities and their application to technology, we can see the kernel of this philosophical gobbledygook captured in profound and eternal loops.
The GIF – or Graphic Interchange Format – is, as Albert Camus wrote, basically, at the very bottom of life, which seduces us all. There is only absurdity and more absurdity. And maybe that’s what gives us our joy for living, because the only thing that can defeat absurdity is lucidity.