Staying Inside: Solidarity from Solitude

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone“ — Blaise Pascal

Day X of lockdown, quarantine, self-isolation, etc. Any word I use is lacking. The Spanish government has extended the confinement period until 12 April, past Semana Santa. I knew this was coming. Frankly, I think it’ll extend past this. The epicenters of the coronavirus crisis in Spain are brutal and the numbers of positive cases (to say nothing of unconfirmed cases or people thinking they have symptoms but cannot receive a test) are rising. Doctors are in tears on social networks lamenting the difficult decisions to pull elderly patients off respirators to give them to younger patients and begging us to stay inside to flatten the curve and stop the spread.

Outside of the Spain and other affected countries like Italy, I see the rumblings of the governments of the United Kingdom and the Unitedl States; simultaneously lying to the population about its preparedness, how deadly this can be, and prioritizing their economies over human lives. It breaks me a little bit. It breaks me, someone far away and relatively safe, because people look for leadership in times of crises. And those leaders are already diluting their advice to stay inside by suggesting we might need to stop that for the sake of the economy. I’ll say it a thousand times more and I’ll say it everyday. The capitalist class does not give a fuck about you.

People of the Occident have become so alienated and atomized from their fellows that to ask us to stay inside, to practice social distancing, to think of the more vulnerable in our society is beyond many.

Twitter isn’t a good measuring stick, but I see people being reckless about our current situation. They say we’re hyperventilating, they try to compare numbers of other illnesses and their mortality rates to for some good ol’ whataboutism, etc. How about we listen to doctors and nurses instead of people who received an email from their cousin who lives in his parents’ basement and crunched some numbers one night?

Look, there are many people who cannot stay inside; the unhoused, service sector workers, medical staff. I get that. But for the rest. The ones who can work from home, self-isolate. By all means, go for a walk alone, but don’t half-ass this. You could be responsible for saving lives just by being at home.

Have some solidarity. If we do this right, we could avoid much harm. Then we can start reorganizing this society to be more coherent and human-centered.

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