segunda-feira, 4 de maio de 2020

Version 2.0

"Only Rita would start a sentence with 'I was planning to go to Paris in June'" said my neighbor, followed by laughter, in the middle of our second pandemic birthday party in the neighborhood. We got together in the service alley between the backs of the houses, had Straw-ber-Ritas, gluten-free cupcakes, chocolate marbled cake, and Brazilian cheese bread, which I made. We talked about my newly acquired biography of Dora Maar, hence my reference to Paris, gardening, pets, real estate, and the pandemic. All conversations lead to the pandemic: it has become the Rome of topics.

Some neighbors feel that we need to get this over and done with, just follow the Swedish model, but I feel that reality is more nuanced than just building herd immunity. Perhaps Dan Patrick, Texas's Lt. Governor framed it best when he said that many senior citizens would be willing to take a chance and sacrifice themselves so as to not hurt the country. But who are these people? There is a cartoon that I find fitting. In one frame someone asks a crowd who wants to change and all reply that they do, then in the next frame the crowd is asked who wants to change and nobody raises their hand.

Everything that we stand for as a society is that those that are strong sacrifice to protect the weak. That's one of the main differences between us and other animals; that's what makes us human. In other species, the weak are often sacrificed to protect the group because instinct drives the survival of the species, not of the individual.

Over the last 100 years, we have built modern man on exactly the opposite paradigm through the development of medicine, agriculture, safety standards that protect the individual, etc., even if that means that we as a species become weaker because we have ensured that many unfit individuals survive. And now this microscopic creature shows up and forces us to declare a preference.

My neighbors who advocate the Swedish model are convinced that they had Covid-19 at the end of February. Their premise is that if made it through and they're in their early 70s, it can't be that bad. I wonder if they would have the same opinion if one of them had died.

In the end, all of this is quite pointless. We are all going to die anyway, thus we merely manage the time of death, not death itself. Each of us remains insignificant, regardless.

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