« The Plague was on its way to Damascus and came across the caravan of a chief in the desert.
- Where are you going so fast? asked the chief.
- In Damascus. I intend to take a thousand lives
At On the way back from Damascus, the Plague crossed the caravan again. The Chief said:
- It is fifty thousand lives that you have taken, not thousand.
- No, said the Plague. I took a thousand. Fear took the rest. »(1)
Reactions vary in the face of the current pandemic and this total « blockage » decided by the State for 3 long weeks… Personally, I would like to be able to rejoice like Mr. Rafaelle Morelli, Italian psychiatrist and psychotherapist whose beautiful words are relayed on the « networks » and who seems to see in this crisis a realignment of the cosmos: fall of the economy but ecological rescue(2)We are reminded of our biological equality across borders, we return to the family nucleus, we become aware of our need for links, we value the necessary and vital community. To read it, one would almost thank the famous Corona to have come to put us back on the right track.
Certainly, on my small level, I could perhaps nourish the hope to see some bonds tightening in these times of forced inaction. I would even like to go so far as to imagine a partial reconnection to the Earth of a few humans driven out of shopping malls. But one would have to be naive to imagine that the first reflex of the average person (whatever his social status and his level of education) will be to go and recharge in the forest instead of turning on his tablet, smartphone or other. Yes, let’s face it: adults and children alike, freed from school and work time, will finally be able to dedicate themselves almost exclusively to their favorite hobbies: Fortnite, Netflix, Facebook, Candy-Crush and other applications, each one more indispensable than the last. As a result, the ecological argument mentioned above seems to me to be very dubious, because if individuals are forced to remain immobile, the Web becomes even more active, spending itsCO2, which may be less directly visible but just as deleterious.
Here where, in « real life », the stores close, the online shopping becomes the only reference. We don’t even have need to have scruples since it is for a good cause sanitary that we definitely turn our back on small stores who were still trying to compete with the great distribution. In any case, it is obvious that we need companies that are coming to our rescue: Alibaba which saving us by offering us masks and tests, Proximus which distributes data and call credit so that we all » get closer » , educational platforms that offer free access to to make up for the shortcomings of our poor school system…
» He has to get organized. you may say… Yes. But then what? Afterwards, our company will be to these companies and, above all, this period of « crisis will have allowed the latter to test in real situation a forced » reduction in the number of its workers. In the face of the virus, long live telecommuting, video conferencing and even distance learning. Absolutely! Learning is finally a management like any other and, if it can be realized by multiplying the digital means, it will allow to quickly reduce the financial means necessary to pay for the teachers and educators far too numerous and ultimately judged not very effective in the eyes of the Pact of Excellence and its Plans Steering Committee already in action.
Since the containment, the media has been talking about this virus like the strikes: » How will people do if they can’t go to work? « , » How much will companies lose in the story? « . Of course, these questions arise, even if the economist Bernard Friot(3) would have many answers to the first one and the second one, as I have shown, surely does not concern all companies because some of them make their money much more than in normal times. What’s next? Well, we will certainly be told that our society has had to evolve. Perhaps this will again be done through the term « austerity »: the economy must » get back on track « , the (ex-)workers must understand… (and above all, why should we start paying people again, without whom things were not so bad in the end?) This will look like a victory in spite of everything because the virus will be defeated (at least for a while) thanks to Science and the State which will have allowed us to continue to consume as we should, against all odds.
In the State, although I do not permit myself, at this time, to to question the health relevance of the current decision, I still wonder about the underlying motives of our leaders. In our country, this crisis will have allowed the union political (at least the facade) that we hoped for more and in our whose measures we hasten to imitate, it is simple enough to see that the Republic had more to gain by prohibiting all gatherings. Since the confinement, Macron breathes surely better.
As for Science, I regret that it does not learn to question itself, that the media waits for the future vaccine like the Grail without speaking about simple and effective means to boost immunity. The statistics are almost always quoted in « stupid and nasty » figures: 1 case, 10 cases the next day… Yes, but out of how many people tested? If it’s 1 case in 10 tests and then 10 cases in 100 tests, then the proportion remains the same. But we are rarely given the means to put things into perspective. Why give people confidence where fear works so well? From there to imagine as a next measure a legal obligation to be all vaccinated against Covid-19 in one year, there is only one step that I would not like to have to cross.
- Anthony de Mello, Dieu est là, dehors, éd. Desclée de Brouwer, 1996.
- « On utilise un masque mais on respire. »
- Bernard Friot, Émanciper le travail, éditions La Dispute, 2014.