We have become our grandparents

About how history repeats

Published 20-03-2020 by David Rubio Vidal (@davidrv87)

When we thought we were invincible, we’ve been put in our place.

That we have realised that we are not ready as humankind. As a whole.

That you must stop sharing shit about politics. That it is not the right moment for that. That is not the moment to walk your ideology. That it is irrelevant what ballot you put in the ballot box. That you shut up and chip in.

That it is not our politicians’ fault. That it is not the parties’ fault.

That we are too many. That the logistics of trying to contain more that 7000 million people is quite hard. That we rely on our liberal mojo of “everyone does as they please”, until one realises what is upon us, at a personal scale and when it touches you closely. That we should have stayed home and not ignore healthcare and governments recommendations.

That it is not just Chinese people dying.

Such selfishness.

That someone close to you is dying.

That we can have international associations. That acronyms like EU, UN, WHO look great on paper. But, as we have seen, everyone looks after number one first. That each one has taken different measures and at different times. That it did not work.

That we were not ready. That we have a lot to learn. That we have, after everything is over, to sit down and reconsider. That we cannot forget and do something else when the curve is flat. That is not what this is about. That it is and will be an exercise for us all.

That what it was only a flu (among which I mistakenly included myself) has put upside down economies, markets, societies, communities, healthcare systems, security systems, logistic systems and a long etcetera.

That the welfare state is not about welfare anymore. It is about trying to be. It does not really matter being well or being sick. Being is only what matters now. Period.

And being does not depend on you anymore. You are selected based on age to let you be or not-be. To let you live or die.

And that is extremely tough but real.

That, after all, these figures are petty and insignificant compared to those from big historical outbreaks like plagues, flus and even wars. But it looks like that those few thousands of deaths have touched us deeply inside.

That we were not ready. That in a world where (almost) everything is Instagrams, Facebooks, Twitters, Tik Toks, selfies, memes and more, the famous virus becomes trending topic and crowns the podium for days, weeks or months.

That these are quarantine times. That it seems that history tends to repeat itself. That dumbshow our grandparents used to tell us and bored us to death, is here with us. That we have become our grandparents because it will be us telling the story in the future.. And now, as a cruel irony of the destiny and history, they cannot choose to be.

That the “what, do we have to isolate?” has become “that we do have to isolate”.

Or you don’t even have to do it because you are thousands of kilometres away. They have isolated you. And you must wait for this to pass.

That the borders of the globalized world (note the paradox and contradiction), that are a hassle on their own, are closed. That we have hermetic countries, where entering or leaving is not allowed. And those that allow entrance become potential ground-zero of infected and contagious people, which we should avoid.

And, meanwhile, your day is about waking up and see the flood of messages. Hundreds at a time. That make you change your mind, your opinion, your mood every hour. Or even less.

I don’t think social networks have been more active before. And that is good. Or bad.

Depending on how you look at it. Or who looks at it. Or where you look at it from.

Checking the online newspapers is like playing Russian roulette. But reversed. Instead of having only one bullet in the chamber, you only have one gap. Gunshot is almost guaranteed.

That the government of your country encourages you to come back and your own family tells you not to due to the severity of the situation, leaves you in a limbo of indecision, in which you must be mentally prepared.

In which you must have a level head to make the best decision.