Chronicles of the Virus Day 8

It's been a week, we have another week to go. Or two. Or three. Or - have pity on us - many more. 

It's been decided that the Congreso will approve an extention of the state of alarm. That will mean more weeks of confinement. It was to be expected. The worst days of infection are yet to come. This won't be over by the end of the week. 

I suppose it's a defense mechanism for the mind. When every modern war began, we all told ourselves it would only be a few weeks, a month at most, and it would be all over. But it wasn't and it won't be. 

I sometimes think about Anne Frank these days. She, her family, and friends, were in hiding for over two years, confined to a small apartment. But, unlike the Europe of today, they had no internet, no television, and no touch with the outside world. In this confinement, people play music, go out on their balconies to chat with the neighbors, do exercise in their homes. Those hiding in the Secret Annex, Anne's name for their hiding place, couldn't touch the curtains on the windows, much less open them. Nor could they talk loudly, or laugh, or move around much. They had to keep as quiet as possible. The only news they got was from their providers or from the shortwave radio they kept hidden and that they could only listen to at very low volume. At times they almost killed each other, but they weathered it until they were discovered. 

Johanna Reiss, in The Upstairs Room, also describes how she and her older sister spent most of the war in a bedroom of a farmer's house. They never left that room until the latter days, in which her sister demanded to be able to get work papers with a false ID. But Johanna, "Annie," stayed in the room. She only left it once, with her sister, when they went to lie in a wheat field in the sun, making sure they weren't seen. 

An Argentine woman, Connie Ansaldi, who is a well-known actor on television there, published a video on Instagram of her 96 year old grandmother, Elsa, who survived the Holocaust. The grandmother chides people, explaining how she spent three years in a dry well, and two in a ghetto, with barely any food and not bathing. She goes on to ask, "And you can't spend two weeks at home?" 

With those examples, we have to ask ourselves if we have it at all bad. Two weeks, a month, two months. Being able to eat, bathe, talk loudly, laugh, and communicate. It's difficult, sure, but I don't think it's impossible.

The bright side, again, is hearing how neighborhoods share music and games across streets and courtyards. Last night in my daughter's neighborhood someone played the hymn of Galicia, right after the clapping to applaud all those working to help, especially the health workers. Hopefully, the infection rate, and the death rate, will soon reach its peak. I would prefer to spend my summer differently.

Life continues. 

 

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