Covid-19 / Our solidarity now put to the test

16.03.2020

POST • I will not hide my annoyance tonight at the lack of civility of the French who seem to take the situation lightly. Annoyed but not really surprised, unfortunately, since the French are, as we know, real muleheads.

 

Disturbed by the lack of solidarity and the selfishness of many, particularly intergenerational selfishness, this evening brings me to a reflection and an observation, the fact that this solidarity between generations is so non-existent in our modern society.

 

We knew this in the adult > child sense, the environmental crisis having highlighted this lack of solidarity of adults towards the younger generations, not hesitating to deplete the planet's natural resources and destroy ecosystems, to the point of threatening the very existence of future generations.

 

The novelty, however, is, it seems to me, that with this #coronavirus we discover that it is the same in the opposite direction. Just a few days ago in #Metz, thousands of high school students defied the ban to celebrate the #percent. One could argue the innocence and recklessness of youth... In the case of the youngest, I'll admit. Except that in this example, with the #percent announcing the baccalaureate, we are faced with young people who in the coming months will be adults and therefore people considered in our society as "responsible". It makes you wonder. In the same way, to see primary school children jumping for joy because school is cancelled, passes... let's not get carried away. But when one reaches a certain age, the closure of high schools should not be a cause for joy. We are talking about an age when we are able to understand what is going on by looking at the newspapers, to see that the closure is due to a health catastrophe that affects many people and grieves many families around the world as well. So there is something disturbing about seeing so many of these young people rejoicing, jumping for joy at these announcements of school closures, when we know what led to this choice. (Your teachers, by the way, are among those who have been most at risk, as young people carry the virus without developing symptoms in many cases. Their dedication is therefore also to be commended and no doubt they will do everything possible to help the children of the health workers). Let's say it again: at the risk of disappointing some: You are not on holiday.

 

But this is just one example among many, with many adults doing the same, taking the recommendations just as lightly, without worrying about what it means for the older, more impacted generations. (We could cite the example of the football clubs' ongoing matches between France and Italy - among others - and the irresponsibility of the fans, which has annoyed many of us in recent days) even though we were witnessing what was happening on the other side of the Alps. I would also prefer to keep quiet here about the assumed choice of some people to have wanted to keep the municipalities in this context, putting politics before the health of the citizens, when indeed postponing it would not have affected our democracy, let alone our economy - since that is all that some people seem to be interested in.

 

Do you think that France is above all this and that the situation our neighbours are experiencing is impossible in our country? Do you?

 

The duty, once again, is not to not get together because one is young, but to not run the risk of being hit hard. The duty is not to get together because we don't want to spread the virus and participate in its rapid spread to the vulnerable. This is what we call responsibility, civic-mindedness, is paradoxically "living together".

 

If the choice of some people to continue to get together, to go out, made them commit only their own health and their own person, then indeed, we could overlook it and let everyone take the risk.

 

The fact is that this is not at all how it happens in a society. The reality is that the behaviour of each individual has an impact on the overall situation. We do not live individually, but are part of a society, a nation and even more importantly of humanity (since all countries on the planet will be affected in a few days). Never before have the ties that unite us all, whatever our country, been so obvious, even if it is to be deplored that it took such an event to make us realize it.

 

To continue not to follow these recommendations for generalized quarantine is to lack solidarity with other populations, and obviously with the medical profession and all those in the hospitals who will gradually enter a real "state of war" (and I am weighing my words), to some extent for the benefit of the people.

 

The heart of the problem is not that 98% of people will have nothing, what we have to understand is that the virus is much more contagious and dangerous than the flu (please stop the ridiculous comparison with the flu virus). 2% of several tens of millions of people is still an enormous figure in terms of the capacity of our hospitals, and we risk running out of beds, equipment and staff to treat so many people at the same time. This will ultimately jeopardize the ability of our caregivers to cope with this pandemic.

 

Failure to respect these common sense rules will only make the situation worse. If you are not hit hard personally, you will probably have been a link in the spread and in the end you will have contributed to saturating the emergency rooms and hospitals with a situation that is likely to become identical to that in Italy, where patients can no longer all be saved and treated, and where doctors are forced to make choices.

 

This is even beyond the pure scope of the coronavirus, because the emergency rooms and the 15 being saturated, anyone who has the bad luck in the next few days to be affected by an accident, a stroke, a heart attack, is just as likely not to be treated in time.

Tonight, for example, the situation in the far east is already serious. Services are already saturated. So take responsibility. Follow the instructions, and think of the others! Don't expose yourself unnecessarily, and don't expose your loved ones. Don't go out if it is not compulsory, don't get together if you can do otherwise. On the contrary, help each other and support those who need it.

This is a serious crisis.

 

It is true that what is being asked of you is not pleasant. It is not pleasant for anyone. It seems a kind of unreal nightmare for many of us, too many of whom do not perceive the seriousness of what is at stake and cannot understand why not following the guidelines is a lack of solidarity.

 

It could be much worse, believe me. The virus could have been much more lethal, and we could be in a much less prepared country (the situation in other countries, such as the United States, is indeed rightly worrying).

 

So this sacrifice, then, is affordable. It won't kill us to change our way of life for a few weeks. Quite the opposite. It will save lives, it will help the paramedics, it will help us to get through this ordeal collectively.

 

Because the response to this kind of crisis can only be collective, as the President of the Republic explained very well. That is what will happen in the next three weeks. Three weeks that will be decisive after which, theoretically, the epidemic peak should have passed in France with a situation that will then gradually improve for several more weeks.

 

So let's be serious, disciplined, responsible and... supportive.

 

________________

 

Note (added the next morning): the fact that everywhere in France many parties were organized in bars and restaurants tonight, by many citizens* at the announcement of this curfew which will last several weeks, unfortunately only confirms my sad observation about the selfishness and irresponsibility which seems to prevail among a large part of the population. Doctors, nurses and patients will appreciate this latest "gesture of solidarity".

 

* You will understand that the term "citizen" is perhaps not well adapted here.

 

 

 

 

 

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