The masks have fallen, we are freed from confinement, but the life before, which we did not know how much it accommodated us, will not return.
The Other, including our intimates, who was transformed into a possible death threat when the variants fell on us, we must learn to tame him, or rather to tame ourselves with him.
There are people who dread leaving their mask. As if this piece of fabric had irretrievably transformed into a new layer of skin. Removing it will cause an intense burn.
Since March 11, 2020, we have stopped kissing, touching, whispering words in our ears. Laughing behind the mask nullified the emotion that prompts laughter. We froze like robots two meters away from an interlocutor—.
Physically and emotionally, this standing to attention has exhausted us all. Many of us have taken shelter even in the summer because of the curfew.
I have friends living alone who have been holed up most of the time. And virtual meetings, aperitifs and meals taken in front of a screen only lasted a while until the weariness and depression caused by this virtuality led us to disconnect from the computer.
At three and a half – that was a year ago – my Rose appeared to me on the screen. She had a bowl of crisps in her hand and she was munching on some. “Grandma, I can’t give you any,” she said, putting the bowl on the table and suppressing a sob. She understood what pandemic-driven virtuality meant.
In addition, many people, students in particular, have adapted to teleworking to the point of no longer wishing to return to the office or the classroom.
What desolation! Shouldn’t this be seen as a social regression? Because we cannot deny that it is imperative to deprogram ourselves from this compulsory distancing of people.
The little children only saw masked adults apart from their parents. The older ones of socialization age have suffered from the estrangement of their precious friends.
As for adolescents, their social delinquency in the face of health measures was inevitable, even necessary for their mental balance. But they emerge traumatized from these pivotal years.
The confinement ended up conditioning us to live physically distant from our friends, our parents and our grandparents.
Since family ties are often problematic, subject to conflict among siblings, life in a pandemic has often unraveled attachments that we believed to be lasting despite everything.
Friendship from a distance and in fear of contagion has been put to the test. In fact, many people, exhausted by the long months of confinement, experienced the friendly obligation as a chore.
These years when the mortality of victims due to COVID-19 was on the daily headlines have had a destabilizing effect. We can even speak of a morbid routine, a debilitating weariness and permanent anxiety.
However, it is not the same for fighters for whom life is a fight and who lead it with the strength of the wrist thanks to their words and their creativity. These are often models, because they embody hope.