This passage – observations of our time from an alternative future – from William Gibson’s Agency has been rather haunting me:
… Why aren’t they happy, there?”
“The drivers for the jackpot are still in place, but with less torque at that particular point.” He took a seat at the table. “They’re still a bit in advance of the pandemics, at least.”
She took the seat opposite. “Nothing before the 2020s has ever seemed entirely real, to me. Hard to imagine they weren’t constantly happy, given all they still had. Tigers, for instance.” …
Agency was published in January 2020.