What Happens to Short Sighted People When the Apocalypse Comes?

I’m short sighted, and as such need to wear some form of optical enhancement to enable me to function during normal life. My preference has always been contact lenses, although I do occasionally wear glasses, and anyone else who is visually challenged will know that without such things, existing in this world without walking into the path of a speeding bus would be pretty much impossible.

The time had recently come for my annual contact lens check up and sight test, but with moving area and having to change the branch of my opticians, things didn’t exactly go smoothly. Without boring you with administrative details, the delivery of my new lenses was severely delayed because the old and new branch had computers that didn’t get along, and couldn’t therefore agree upon whose responsibility it was to sort everything out for me.

It made me realise how dependant upon this company and others like them I am to enable me to fulfil one of life’s most basic functions: seeing. If they were to go bust, sure I could go elsewhere. If they all went bust, well I’ve got my glasses to fall back on. If I then literally fell back on them and they smashed, however, where would I be? Let’s fast forward a few years to the dystopian future that’s on its way, (excuse my presumption here, but I’m guessing you all know the world is going to hell and one day we’re all going to become essentially feral creatures willing to kill with a rusty nail driven through a plank of wood for the last tin of Spam in existence), and there is no more Specsavers or Boots to come to my aid, my contact lenses have withered to a morsel of twisted plastic and my glasses lie in shards on the floor of my derelict squat. How will I see? (Will I even want to?)

There are a few options available. Stock pile? Get laser surgery? I have a wedding and new house to save for, so that’s probably not going to happen anytime soon and I hear it doesn’t last forever anyway. Re-train as an optician and invest in some glass and spectacle fashioning equipment, then protect it with my life? Hope that I’m being overly pessimistic and bank on the apocalypse holding off until my comfortable existence has reached its natural conclusion?

The truth is, if I had been born in a different time, someone with eyesight like mine would by now most likely have already fallen from a cliff or been eaten by a wolf, and I should be thankful that I can exist at all. And if the time comes, I’ll have to be ready to wield that plank not only for the sake of Spam sustenance, but also to wrestle the specs from another poor four-eyed scavenger.

Spam or sight.

I’m afraid that’s the future that awaits me, and all of you reading this through refractively inferior eyeballs.

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20 thoughts on “What Happens to Short Sighted People When the Apocalypse Comes?

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  1. Reblogged this on kirstwrites and commented:
    I hit ‘like’ on this but it really deserves higher praise, so I’m reblogging. Jamie Dyson (go follow his blog, you won’t regret it) absolutely nails it with this post about the existential fear that nags away at all us speccy-4-eyes folk when we grope for our gig lamps first thing in the morning.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I never thought of it that way. Though, I suppose for much of recent history, it mattered less. Most people couldn’t read, and farming the land didn’t require great vision.

    Hunter gatherer times would have been different all together.

    Like

    1. Yeah it’s the hunting and gathering that would concern me, should the time arise. With a repulsion for hunting, my experience is non-existent, which combined with a lack of vision could prove tricky. I’d stick to gathering things that can’t fight back, if I thought there would be anything left to gather!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved this, Jamie. This was exactly what went through my head when I had laser surgery 9 years ago. And alas, I am no longer apocalyptic-proof, as I’ve reached the age that I now need readers. But, who am I kidding, how much reading (or screen-peering) will I be doing post-apocalypse? Laser eyes still put me on top!

    Like

    1. Haha yes, I think you’re in the superior position. Screens may not have the required power sources and books will become fancy kindling, laser eyes definitely win the day. Now ACTUAL laser eyes, something like Cyclops from the X-Men, now that would definitely put you on top. You’d probably be the queen of the wasteland then, which I think is something we would all want to be..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I always felt kinda bad for Cyclops, because the only way he can control his power is with those spaced-out glasses…and we’re back to… where would Cyclops be without his glasses in the post-Apocalypse (atop the wasteland) 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hahahaha yes! I think I’ve got it bad, Cyclops would be screwed. I guess if I’m ever in that situation, and I’m faced with being almost blind, scrabbling around on the floor of a post-apocalyptic wasteland, I can be cheery in the fact that things must be worse for a fictional comic book character finding himself in my situation..

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Funny, Jamie! I’d be in the boat with Kirst probably, as I have a very steep astigmatism in one eye. Not retinal detachment (yet), but that’s probably in my future. I’m not even eligible (anymore) for “regular” LASIK, but I might be for some specialized kind (forget the name) where they incise the eye and insert a lens, kind of a permanent contact (but not exactly). Anyhow, I presume you’ve seen the end-of-the-world Twilight Zone episode (with Burgess Meridith) that’s kinda similar to this premise . . . the end of the world happens and the spectacle-wearer is possibly the only survivor and then . . . (well, you’ll have to watch if you’ve not already)? Here, I looked it up: “Time Enough at Last,” probably Season 1, ep. 8 if you’re interested! In the meantime, stay well Jamie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Leigh, sorry for the late reply. Been taking a bit of a break for various reasons I won’t bore you with.. I’ve been using contacts for about 20 years now so am well used to touching my eye, but the thought of incising the eye and shoving something in made me feel a little queasy! There’s got to be a story in there somewhere???

      I’ve not seen that episode, so thanks for the recommendation!

      Like

  5. This is great! Brilliantly written and funny too. I guess stockpiling glasses would be a good option with different prescriptions in case yours changed. Different problems altogether with contact lenses! Best of luck saving for the wedding and house.

    Liked by 1 person

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