Of Fernando Pessoa’s heteronyms, Álvaro de Campos is my favorite. We all have one. I like its modernity, its British phlegm and its decadent pessimism. And one of the poems I like the most about good old Álvaro is: “What is in me is above all tiredness”. The first stanza tells us the essentials: “What is in me is above all tiredness – not this or that, not even everything or anything: tired just like that, tired”.
With Europe plunged into a second wave of Covid-19, even more serious than the first, Portugal is also preparing to announce more restrictive measures to contain the pandemic that in our country overcame the barrier of four thousand cases on Thursday . Nobody wants to be in the place of António Costa, Pedro Sanchez or Angela Merkel. Right. But fairness in measures is required and a minimum of congruence.
In the difficult balance between health security and public health versus economic health, no one doubts that there will be many unaccounted casualties related to the harsh restrictions imposed. Close deals, thousands in unemployment, thousands in psychological depression. It is necessary to contain the pandemic, yes. But in the application of measures by trial and error, without scientific certainties of almost nothing, perhaps it would be better to bet on the inspection of those that are already in force than to apply new states of emergency and even the possible curfew.
We already realized that the new coronavirus will be among us, housed without paying rent for many years. It was also already known that the second wave would hurt. Why haven’t hospitals been trained in seven months? Why have there been advances and retreats in the use of the mask? Why was Fatima, Avante and Formula One allowed when nothing else was allowed? And yes, individual responsibility also counts. And to guard against the irresponsibility of many, there is a sanctioning framework provided by law.
Now don’t screw with us incoherence. There is more and more tiredness, ours, of the government, of everyone. And if we continue in the intermittent states of emergency, from that monster called fatigue, tentacles will emerge that cling to the skin like those of the octopus, sensors of a deep collective depression. Whatever António Costa communicates to the country on Saturday, he explains it very well, leaves no doubt hanging over the fairness of the measures and also manages to give a glimmer of hope. Without it, there is no pandemic to be fought, much less the invisible one, that of fear, this virus that has already taken hold of everyone.
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