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Now is an extraordinary time, a time of crisis and pandemic.Behind the economic crisis of 2008/2009 are other, more terrible and deeper, invisible crises - crises of meaning, since we are not made of economics and politics. We also consist of vague and immeasurable things like sadness, fears, and insecurities. As for this crisis, I would trust primarily literature, Manu, Kafka, Borges and others. They are real experts, which you can’t see in the headlines. Their voices can pull us out of the darkness.
Certainly, the pandemic in the last year and a half is not a precedent in the history of mankind. I recently re-read Defoe's "Diary of the Year of the Plague" 1 and was amazed at how little has changed in human reactions over the four centuries. And then there was all this: distrust, false rumors, fear, impatience and revolt against the measures; even a man is accustomed to death.What does a plague like kovida-19 want to tell us, what does it give us, apart from taking everything away from us at first sight? Something. It brings us back to the conversation about death and our own mortality. New media, advertisements, the virtual space in which we all reside, suggested to us a certain immortality; we became something like disembodied avatars. The pandemic suddenly returned our bodies to us, and they proved to be fragile and vulnerable.On the one hand, the pandemic is turning us into islands. In order to survive, we must separate from others, isolate ourselves.
But at the same time, the pandemic reveals old connections between us. From the beginning, the most unbearable temptation was to die alone, without your loved ones. You go to sleep and to death alone, but it's good when someone walks you to the door. If we imagine the world as a huge building, even though everyone is alone in it behind their lighted window, still everyone wants to know that there are people on the floor above and below it behind the window and that it is still bright.During these year and a half, we have been constantly counting: the number of infected, recovered, dead… Such mathematics is beyond all humanity. The task that has befallen us, the surviving witnesses of the crisis, is to turn numbers back into people through our stories, to bring people back behind these numbers, to show that behind every man there is a story, connected with the stories of his neighbors. This network of tightly bound stories preserves the meaning of the world.
When the pandemic overtook us with another virus, I became aware that all this unrest had obviously been in the air for a long time and that something had to happen to open our eyes and show us that we can't go on like this. Nature sometimes speaks in a direct and painful way, especially when we have not previously understood its more subtle lessons.
Eliot once wrote: "For us, there is only trying. The rest is none of our business. ”This coincides with my interest in the volatile and the vanishing. I still believe that only what disappears is worth preserving.