No panic. Solidarity. Read. Coronavirus. How to take the epidemic seriously and make the most of it

Coronavirus forces us into an experience in which the whole world participates. It is perhaps even the greatest social experience of the last centuries. The initial question is, of course, to get out alive? But only a few questions need to be asked: can we still get along?

 

No panic. Solidarity. Read. Corona virus. How to take the epidemic seriously and make the most of it

Coronavirus Solidarity

The facts about the virus, as the government has also pointed out, paint a disturbing picture. We are not yet immune, mortality is high, spread is rapid, the climax is far from being reached. The aim now is to slow transmission, otherwise the health system will collapse and an increasing number of patients will no longer be able to be treated. Some experts are certain that the only thing that will stop the disease will be that everyone stays at home for a few weeks. Chinese model.

No panic. Solidarity. Read. Coronavirus. 

And now also: Italy model. The Italian Prime Minister made the entire country a restricted area overnight. No one is allowed to go back and forth until April 3. There are no weddings and funerals, the cinemas are closed, except pharmacies and grocery stores, as are restaurants – nobody goes there anyway. Life is expelled from life. On YouTube there are videos of the dark city of Wuhan, skyscrapers in the deserted cities, screams come from the apartments. You have almost never seen and heard anything more dystopian. On the other hand: the drastic quarantine apparently worked; the Chinese government estimates that the number of infected people decreases.

No panic. Solidarity. Read. Corona virus. How to take the epidemic seriously and make the most of it

Coronavirus Solidarity

For almost all people currently living in Europe, the crisis situation is an absolute novelty. Habits and behaviors need to be changed. Isolation is advised, and may soon be prescribed by law. We will not succeed, but many believe it. We need exchange. Above all, we must go to work! But it may not be true. Perhaps in a few weeks we will have realized that the world will not end if we do not always want to do it. Perhaps after a few weeks of quarantine, we will move away from the work ethic that we have practiced for decades and in the future, we willfully want to spend a lot more time with our children.

No panic. Solidarity. Read. Coronavirus. 

It is already clear that what means a return to barbarism for some, others can gain new opportunities: air traffic stops – the environment can take a breath, the markets are lame -, the economic system is challenged. Maybe it will finally change?

Corona virus is undoubtedly extremely dangerous, but it also has opportunities. The virus suddenly and urgently forces us to act on two crucial questions for the future of Western countries: the unemployed society and the aging society. All people who will soon be unemployed because of artificial intelligence and whose future currently depends theoretically only on think tanks: What new stimuli, ideas and lifestyles are we creating so that they don’t feel left alone and become aggressive?

According to the current state, most of us will not die from the virus. But have plenty of time. Remove. And perhaps for the first time faced with a huge problem that the French mathematician, physicist and philosopher Blaise Pascal recognized from the 17th century: “All the misfortune of people comes from the fact that they cannot remain calm in a room . ”

No panic. Solidarity. Read. Corona virus. How to take the epidemic seriously and make the most of it

Coronavirus Solidarity

Staying calm in the room does not mean becoming a provincial, not looking outside. It also means: taking advantage of digital. You can organize courses digitally, you can speak reasonably on the Internet. Stay calm in the room: it is also a metaphor for our relationships with children. Pascal’s misfortune must be our luck. Stay calm in the room: it’s a metaphor for our relationships with the family. With grandmother and grandfather, of course, who will have to be separated from us in the near future. Scientists are currently convinced that the elderly and those who have suffered from illnesses are particularly at risk. Berlin charity virologist Christian Drosten said the result nowadays is to protect grandparents. “If you don’t take it seriously, you have to assume that these risk groups will have death rates in the range of 20 to 25 percent.” Right now, people understand what solidarity means.

I don’t wash my hands for myself, I disinfect myself for others, for the elderly, the sick. Basel writer and artist Ingo Niermann said on Facebook: “The chances of dying from # Covid_19 are 50 times higher if you are over 70 than if you are under 40. Should we not only provide a seat for the elderly, but also free taxis and free first-class train trips to keep them safe?

No panic. Solidarity. Read. Coronavirus. 

The metaphors of this disease still offer great possibilities for filling. But an ethics of the state of emergency and the silent room is also established. The filmmaker Alexander Kluge, interviewed in this Friday’s edition, made a film in 1974 with the title: The middle road puts death in danger and the greatest need. It is now important to keep calm. But we can also do something. Sit in our quiet rooms and think about what we want to do with ourselves.

Perhaps mentally moving away from the current common ground. And maybe even say goodbye to old thoughts. After all, it will take more and more. “Post-material values” have long been a buzzword, now they could become existential. Goodbye, to the madness of growth. More freedom, more money for everyone, more work. It is incredibly difficult to understand that becoming “less” is the next big step, both social and evolutionary. Right now and hopefully for a very short and focused moment, we have the best conditions to create this.

Facebook source and thanks to Timo Feldhaus (freitag.de) for this naked truth! (Translation: Jean-Pierre Wartique)