Apartment diary 8 - Hesitation and the desire to live

In Kafka’s text “Homecoming”, translated by Anatol Rosenfeld, there is a phrase whose power to destabilize would reach even the most convinced of the Stoics : “ The longer one is hesitating in front of a door, the stranger it becomes. become”. 

For it is possible that our lurking before this door is about to end. That is, it will be broken by default. No, unfortunately it will not be the end of this virus.

It was already known, even after a considerable exodus from large urban centers caused by the pandemic, that for the “most at risk” as is my case, the decision to leave would never be an easy one. I remembered the phrase , “Never leave.” Leave home, the street, the neighborhood, the city. Jargon, when overwhelmingly repeated, penetrates the culture and becomes an addiction to information.

-You will leave? Drive 300 km and still take a ferry? What a risky thing my friend.

That’s what I heard when I communicated to the friend with whom I play chess from a distance that would leave the city.

-It is a calculated risk, I tried to reassure him .

– I would prefer that you use the Sicilian defense. Now, who am I going to practice winning streak with if you…

– You can talk, don’t be bent by taboos: if I get infected, I need treatment, get out of life …

– Until the return, then. He said goodbye abruptly and a little embarrassed.

After almost nine months in prison, I became convinced through a dream that needed to break the feeling of house arrest, and, once martial law, censorship obstacles and sanitary requirements were overcome, I dared to travel with the family.

It is necessary to consider that during the mismatched news about the virus and its consequences, the demands for our rights have been weakened. The number of restrictions, arbitrariness and justificationist massacres against individual freedoms were being sewn up, that is to say, they were being imposed, without persuasion, without preliminary instructions, without consistent educational campaigns. What we saw was a pure scene of rationalized arbitrariness under the use of decrees whose generic slogans were based on “the desire to safeguard the health and well-being of the population”.

Although WHO itself warned that indiscriminate restrictive procedures would present a potential risk of upheaval, riots and rebellions against closing orders, the government preferred to do so. And so far, in most cases, only order and meekness have been observed, the same that usually affects paralyzed, uncritical herds, a late effect on those cornered by panic. But things are changing and rapidly.

It is the subtext of this meekness that interests us, regardless of the merit of the alleged effectiveness of the measures adopted. They are almost convincing us that republican rights are not exactly an achievement on the merits of the citizen, they have become magnanimous concessions of power. A democracy that follows this path causes more chills than rejoicing. The truth is that, without mechanisms to rectify and extract it from the strange shortcuts of the guarantor doctrine , from the concessions that gratify the transgression and from the authoritarian rubble called hermeneutic flexibility, the very character of political representation is increasingly corroded. difficult to repair.  

Now think again about the burden of proof. Who is responsible for providing health? But isn’t it that essential and essential items need to be accompanied by security and transparency? Prof. Walter Maffei, of blessed memory, always warned against fads in medicine, from pathologies to brand new medicines. If the disease in vogue is dangerous and deadly for some – as it really is – for many it will only mean confinement and bankruptcy, isolation and madness. For those who think it is a reasonable price to pay, I reduce myself to silence. 

Complexity requires that you go beyond the two-dimensional and look at reality as a hologram. Clinicians who say so. But the fact that needs to be analyzed is that the side effects of decisions also need to be on the radar of epidemiologists on duty, as well as that of transdisciplinary teams.

But do they really exist? If so, where are they? Has anyone heard of such a council?

And if these extra health stricto sensu factors such as unemployment and hopelessness are not included in the assessment, it is because the manipulation has been greater than the scientific accuracy. Why is there so much controversy about treating early? Has this been properly investigated? It is clear that the vast majority will not deny the power of vaccine protection. What is unnecessary is coercion and judicial sanctions against those who are not convinced or secure. When there is a responsibility to start with who should serve as a model. 

My chess player often says

– Among us, models and elected representatives expire before the deadline.

Nobody wants to take a risk without need. Not without certifying the parameters of safety, effectiveness and, above all, transparency. Speeches by politicians or pompous reports by salaried experts, whose priority commitment seems to be with power, are not enough.

It was after a dream that I decided to travel to an island, and, as the text says, no man is an island. Thus, I can say that the experience showed something different. When it comes to practical life, we are a multitude of archipelagos. It was naive to imagine that it would not be so, after all, however modernity tries to homogenize individual responses, it is the idiosyncrasies that command human decisions, as well as the varied sensitivities to diseases and medicinal substances .

I never thought it was so confusing. It is possible to attest to the practical result of this confusion by taking to the streets in different cities to see – as my wife observed – that people and human groups live simultaneously in parallel universes. We find people obsessive, resigned to an ultra phobic confinement, but also those who have already abandoned all precautions and continue to live as if nothing is happening. I don’t think the controversy here is between ” affirmationists ” or denialists and I refuse to judge them . I find it ethically despicable to judge someone else’s context without all the data. I just conclude that the middle path and common sense are really in disuse. 

The political use of fear is both an old and an effective weapon. And it is healthy for people to be suspicious of information from a system that has given multiple expressions of contempt for public opinion.

Returning to Kafka, when the door shows signs of strangeness, but of ruin, the desire to open it outweighs hesitation.

If Dr. Maffei were alive I would not hesitate to ask and it was what I did in the dream that finally encouraged me to put my feet on the road and travel:

– What about this virus, Prof.?

– You know I don’t like to talk about medicine, I prefer to listen to classical music. But since you asked me, all this will pass and you know why, don’t you?

– I think so.

– The virus wants to live and spread, its biological objective is not to kill the patient, therefore, with time and mutations, the tendency is that it is indeed more contagious, but at the same time it produces less sequelae and is less lethal.

– And what should we advise people?

He looked at me suspiciously and in his peculiar peremptory way spoke in a low voice:

– But it is evident that prevention, early treatment if any and the usual care.

– Without forgetting that the risk always exists …

– Look here, and he looked at me sternly, and under an almost angry expression: the only thing the doctor has no right to do is to discourage the patient.

When I woke up the decision was made.

Opening the door and facing the phobia was no longer a matter of will. Hesitation was replaced by the desire to live, carefully, but to live.