Wednesday, November 24, 2021


Covid feels like having arrived at a breaking point. The historical contrat social is breaking down.  Since democracy is ailing, the crisis management can no longer contain the fractures that are coming into the open. The flashpoints in the West torch civility and accountability. 

Governments are trying to extinguish the advance of the brushfire which starts to engulf norms that were previously accepted. The advancing wave of unanswerable lies is becoming unstoppable.  Fake news and QAnon trivia are starting to create a tidal wave which is an ominous threat to democracy.

The civil war which sets vaccinated against non-vaccinated is another indication of the loss of political and moral persuasion of governments.  Besides that, the faulty distribution of vaccinations worldwide is in itself an existential, almost genocidal scandal.

Various political precursers acted as conductors for this catastrophic Untergang.. The Trump years killed the American saga. Brexit reduced the United Kingdom to yet another costume drama, in which the British hide their irrelevance. The EU invited the enemy within and is stuck with Eastern  European squatters. 

It is remarkable that this unfolding drama has not yet created the story line of the likes of Thomas Mann, Gabriel Marquez or Richard Ford, who dissected the diseased environment around them with an unspairing lucidity. One has to face the music and see the rot. Governments are too timid, the lifespan of the lie is too long and the antivaxers need to be called for what they are:  a looming death threat.

The macro consequences of COVID do not receive the emergency attention they need. The difficult socio-economic, military, migratory and cultural tides may as well coalesce with the accelerating climate doom. The temptation exists to try to put competing priorities in separate cubicles, but we cannot ignore the law of interdependence. All existing arrangements fell victim to the end of globalisation. It is tempting to argue that all was better then but such nostalgia is perverse. The uneven strategy regarding today's ailments has to be corrected. The unacceptable tensions in our societies regarding the pandemic cannot be allowed to mute in a cultural/civil war.  If a difference of opinion leads to more deaths and a collapse of the system (and of the medics and care-givers who risk a burnout) the nay-sayers have to give in. Ebola or AIDS taught us that in emergency there is no "there" but only a "here".

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