Difficult times do not give truce. We are going through the modest illusion of a return to some habits similar to those of that life that we put on hiatus more than a year ago, but the virus has insisted on preventing us. The new normal is becoming newer, and less and less normal.
We are afraid, which should not turn into panic, so as not to paralyze ourselves but to act accordingly, redoubling care, respecting and enforcing strict protocols, even if that means continuing to delay encounters and reunions, kisses and hugs, smiles in sight, After-hours until any hour surrounded by friends regardless of distances and separations.
Discouragement overtakes us, and there is no point in denying it. But even in the worst of storms, there are always shelters to reach for. Beyond virtual contact, indoors we can find shelter in reading, music, a good painting, even if we see it in print or on the screen, a movie or a series, a good conversation on the phone …
It is not the same, we already know, but while the bad weather gets worse, let’s make a virtue of necessity. As a poem says, not dated 1800 as it circulates, but written by an American teacher last year, “When the storm passes / and the roads calm down / and we are survivors / of a collective shipwreck / With a tearful heart / and a blessed destiny / we will feel happy / just to be alive / And we will give a hug / to the first stranger / and we will praise the luck of keeping a friend (…) We will understand how fragile / what it means to be alive / We will show empathy / for who is and who is gone (…) And everything will be a miracle / And everything will be a legacy / And life will be respected, / the life that we have won”.
Not to loosen: there is less to clarify.