Before telling us we would be locked-down, our dear president repeated many times: « We are at war », justifying to put the whole country to sleep. His long speech was calm and serious. “It is a matter of protecting ourselves and our loved ones”.
When a silent, invisible enemy is taking over us, attacking our lungs and putting us into the ground, it’s seems obvious that staying home and locking our front door is the best thing to do, waiting for the storm to go away; we cannot fight back but only dodge. And when we’re afraid, it’s normal to jump on all ammunition we can find to make sure we and our babies are all fine, because in the end, we never know what’s next.
After witnessing empty shelves of toilet paper (really?), pasta, flour, tomato sauce, meat, dairies, I thought it was just a matter of 2 to 4 weeks. I did not store huge amounts of food at home, it seemed unreasonable at the time and it looked like it was the perfect way to rush us into unfortunate shortages. It is what we call the self-defeating prophecies. Whether it’s a prophecy or not, shelves are still empty today regarding many products and in my neignborhood, we start looking for flour like it was cocain.
Now, 4 weeks of being locked down alone in a 2 rooms apartment in the city and here I am, wondering if this containment is really the one and only solution. Why? Let’s see.
First, containment does not aim to kill the virus but only to slow the spread down, avoiding to overcrowd hospitals. We do not have the capacities to welcome sick people in different medical units and we clearly don’t have enough beds (I’m not even talking about countries where medical care is not free and where poor people would just stay home and pray not to die). Did I tell you about my experience in France, being rejected for medical exams when I was starting to lack oxygen? https://capkane.com/2020/04/10/well-im-young-and-healthy-what-could-this-coronavirus-do-to-me/
Anyway, the virus will still be there, waiting for us, at the end of the lock-down. This is not a matter of weeks, it’s a matter of months or even years. Would you accept to be staying this way until the end of the year, hoping for a vaccine or a cure to be made? Do you think about the “day after”? Do you worry more about the virus or the aftermath?
Few weeks seems like nothing when it’s a matter of saving lives for sure. But can we stay alive in the long run keeping going this way? The economy is crashing down, pushing in the water poor people to drown. Unemployment rates are burning and many small shops won’t be able to re-open. Some people are already struggling to survive and before battling the dear Corona, they will need to battle hunger. And some other will die for many different reasons: suicide, domestic violence, strokes for refusing to get to a medical facility for example.
Isolation will have tremendously bad effects on old people and fragile minds. Some decide to end their lives when some other old wise ones are expecting to take their last breath. My 86 grand-mother feels so isolated right now that she thinks she will die alone anytime soon.
Divorce rates exploded in Wuhan and some families won’t get up. We are next.
Domestic violence raises and some women can’t pass the front door anymore. Children neither.
Some don’t reach the emergency room because they are afraid of catching the disease, hiding their strokes. Our doctors are warning us because they cannot explain the incredibly low rates of strokes since the virus came to the country.
Volunteering in non-profit organization is hugely reduced. We cannot provide as much and as fast primarly supplies to people in need like we used to. Will they count in the numbers of dead people if they don’t make it? Probably not.
Do we take into account psychological damages and traumas this psychotic situation is putting us into? Recent studies are expecting a 35% rate of developing a moderate stress when some will face PTSD. What about young isolated student who live in a 15 meter square flat? Will they start walking along the walls like crazy lions in their cages? http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-emergencies/coronavirus-covid-19/news/news/2020/3/mental-health-and-psychological-resilience-during-the-covid-19-pandemic
Police is expecting a quick increase of radicalization and unforeseen strikes in the upcoming months. Will this be collateral damages?
How are we going to wake up after this? Will I cross a woman and her child with bruises in the street? Will I see many more men sleeping on the side walk? Will we be able to talk to a stranger without fear, not changing direction to avoid crossing their path? Will the 18 year old isolated student jump out of a window in despair? How long are we going to deal with shortages?
Personally, I start to see that my mental state is not as good as a month ago. I cannot talk or see anyone expect on the phone and when I go grocery shopping. I see the sun out of the windows and wonder when I’ll be able to feel it on my skin during a nice walk in the forest. I miss my relatives. My stress is going up without knowing why, I don’t sleep as good as before and I can hear my neighbors going in the same direction. Downstairs is screaming and crying, upstairs is playing basketball in the apartment for hours. I start to wonder if I will lose my job as now, my activities depend on cross-border international seminars. If borders don’t re-open in a couple of months, I already know the answer.
Social distancing is a solution that helps but it cannot take Corona down. Sometimes I wonder if this is good. What will happen in autumn, when we’ll face a second wave? Will we need to lock-ourselves down each time the virus resurfaces? A storm always go away in a matter of days. Here, I’m wondering if we will have to live with it in the long run. If this is the case, what are you willing to accept to make sure you don’t catch it?
What is certain is that like after every storm, we will have some work to do to clean and rebuild. As French people say : “Il va y avoir du pain sur la planche”.
And by the way, I promise, next time I’ll tell you all about the beautiful things I’ve witnessed.