We have entered a new chronic mode, a mode of time that cares little for terminality or acuteness, but more for an undying present that remains forever sick, without the danger of sudden death. The maintenance of the status quo becomes, if not quite our ultimate goal, what we will settle for, and even ﬁght for. If the system cannot be reformed (the cancer eradicated, the ocean cleaned, the corruption expunged), then the new chronic mode insists on maintaining the system and perpetually managing its constitutive crises, rather than confronting even a hint of the terminal, the system’s (the body’s, the planet’s, capitalism’s) own death.
The new chronic extends the present into the future, burying in the process the force of the terminal, making it seem as if the present will never end.
— Eric Cazdyn. The Already Dead: The New Time of Politics, Culture, and Illness. Duke University Press, 2012. p. 5 – 8.