I chose this image, of a person possibly separated or isolated from others by a window, to illustrate a simple concept: we isolate ourselves in order to reduce the risk of pandemic, but by doing so, we open the door to perhaps an even more dangerous risk: the obsession of ”zero risk”.
What I mean, is that even though it is absolutely legitimate to protect our individual health by isolation, by doing so we risk initiating a dangerous degradation of the social health.
Living in society implies certain amount of risks, and that is a fact. Any interaction with other human beings, any relationship we establish challenges our individual comfort and habits. Driving is a risk, travelling is a risk, discovering new cultures and paradigms is a risk, and in general, being alive is risky. Every living being risks dying, isn’t it so? But of course, the fear of dying should not diminish our will of living.
What I am trying to say, is that there is no such thing as “zero risk”. We can’t eradicate all the viruses and bacteria from our life, and we need to accept to live with the virus without letting it’s presence destroy the essence of our social life.
The most common response from the “authorities” is to try to control, and distribute fines, instead of informing, educating and restoring the trust. We experience, in most of the countries worldwide – apart from some very rare exceptions – a total rupture between the citizens and their representatives, and those representatives are lost- not to mention in total panic – and thus they don’t know any other way, other than regaining control by applying the same old measures, which have proven to be more dangerous than efficient. The danger of those people being in charge, is that they impose on us their lack of vision, their absence of imagination and most of all: their fear.
The obsession of “zero risk” may help cure more individuals, but is the price acceptable, if by doing so we are destroying the social and cultural ground on which the entire Humanity evolves? We must accept the risk as part of life. We must learn to live with it, because otherwise, we could reach, in a not so distant future, a situation where there will be no more social life to endanger at all.
So let’s be courageous. Let’s embrace our fear, take it by the hand and move forward with it.