The eternal return of the same

The eternal return of the same

The decision to close again most regions of our country in a new lockdown comes at a strange time.

I am a doctor and I’ve been wondering since a few months, seeing the number of infections in continuous growth, what they were waiting for to tighten the security measures and yet the news of a closure on March 15th concerned me. Not for the event itself, but for the exact repetition of what happened a year ago.

What do politicians want to tell us? What do they want to prove with this choice?

About a century ago, a man coined a term that I actually don’t like very much: compulsion to repeat. He attributed to it the meaning of repeating the same thing in thought and behaviour without knowing the reason. He said that the person who carried out this dynamic was not aware of it. I do not believe, however, that those who govern us are unaware of it.

We are in March 2021 and we are closed again, teaching is at distance and shops are closed. This could raise in people’s minds the thought that we always go back to the starting point, that there is no way out of this situation, that a crisis cannot be overcome. But it is not true. This may be the material reality, but it is not the truth of all of us. We have changed. This year transformed the mindset of many and perhaps there was not only fatigue and difficulties, perhaps some important reflections on the environment came up, on sociality, work, school. If we get out of this pandemic now, the students would be prepared to face and defend the school in a different way than before. Teachers could rebel against the continuous mortification of their work. Health professionals and the people would oppose to the closure of new hospitals, to the difficulty of access to treatments because we have discovered how fundamental the right to health, treatment and prevention is. The care of the environment, the territory and its resources would no longer be forgotten by people.

Is that why they want us to believe that nothing has changed when people’s minds are changing instead?

With this assertion I do not want to argue at all that it was not necessary a new lockdown, on the contrary it would have been better to implement it much earlier, but to propose it on the same dates as last year seems to me a cruel and inhumane act with the aim of discouraging people.

But people have resources that these rational little men do not know because human intelligence is not in heroic acts or great political deeds, but in small and precious things: the phone call of a friend, the enchanted gaze of a girl, the grandfather getting vaccinated, the colleague’s smile that you can only glimpse from their eyes through the protective suit because their patient made it.

It’s always those who run the power who want everyone to believe that there can be no hope, but then spring always comes back.

Gioia Piazzi

Thanks to Chiara Fanasca for the translation of this article

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The eternal return of the same