The epidemic of the show

This article was published, in a slightly abridged version, in La Verità on Friday 7 February.

Like many, I also try to keep myself informed on the evolution of the Coronavirus 2019-nCoV epidemic, on the probabilities of contracting it and on its severity. But it is not easy. As I untangle the updates and recommendations of the health authorities, the seed of the microbe has taken root on the ground of a public opinion hungry for symbols and obsessions and from there it has generated a narrative forest that says nothing about the possible dangers of the disease, very much. of those of a society imprisoned in the intangible plots of the "spectacle" (Guy Débord).

The first to move were the standard-bearers of mandatory vaccinations. There is still no vaccine to defend against the Chinese Coronavirus so (!), Explained our WHO representative to the microphones of Radio Radicale , "the main remedy is the vaccine against the flu" and "even more so" against pneumonia, that is against other diseases. Boulders. If a tooth hurts, let's bandage a foot, that doesn't hurt. After all, he added, “we are a very vulnerable country. Since '99, when Parliament suspended or relaxed the obligation to vaccinate to enter schools, there have been tens of thousands of young people… not vaccinated. These are predestined victims ». While we try to understand that we are right with the Chinese epidemic, we timidly point out that from 1999 to 2017 (when the obligation was reintroduced) the adherence rate to the polio-tetanus-diphtheria vaccination remained unchanged , while that of the 'anti-morbid disease has even grown by twenty percentage points . Corn passons . Others have taken the even longer leap, brandishing the imaginary vaccine to annihilate their own imaginary enemies. "I would like," writes a well-known virologist on Twitter , "that a vaccine against the coronavirus could be found immediately [also] for the pleasure of seeing antivaccinists begging for vaccination on their knees on chickpeas." The reference of this technical and Olympic auspice is clearly the fairytale subgroup of those who would shy away from any vaccine such as garlic vampires, not those who would just like to choose if and which to do, or maybe more simply discuss it with their doctor without making them risk the radiation and pillory. Since this second group has the defect of existing, it would not lend itself to the script.

Then there are those barricaded in the fort of love, the ever-good ones who fight against the wicked and cruel country. Here is the mayor of Florence appearing on video with a gentleman with oriental features to denounce "the looting that some do to find only an excuse for hatred and exclusion". The virus is just "an excuse", the hashtag #AbbracciaUnCinese (seriously). Here is every aggression or hypothesis of aggression against people with almond eyes becoming an "emergency synophobia", the symptom of a "racist psychosis" that must be atoned for in public with special reparative bites of spring rolls, in favor of Instagram under the inevitable hashtag . And here are the reporters on the hunt for mothers worried about the return to class of a companion from China. "There is the risk of a hunt for the greaser", warn the same people who call thousands of healthy children "little infectors" and rejoice if they are kicked out of kindergartens. According to the WHO it is possible that the virus is also transmitted by asymptomatic guests, but Alberto Villani (SIP), the same one who " was very pleased " that the past government confirmed the ban on school attendance for those who do not vaccinate against diseases that have disappeared for decades in our country or for which no epidemic is in progress, informs us today from the pages of the Corriere that if an epidemic is looming then it is unfair and "it makes no sense" to impose a short quarantine on pupils from the areas where it rages. Because, now yes, the risk is only "theoretical" and in any case "if it exists it is highly improbable". On the same score UNICEF sings. In 2018, the spokesman for Italy expressed "appreciation for the overcoming of the [suspension of] the vaccination obligation as a requirement for enrollment and school attendance" and launched an appeal for the "protection of children's health – in particular more vulnerable – is not delegated to the sense of responsibility of individual citizens ”Today, since there are no bites in the way, we discover instead that we must“ say no to any prejudice and discrimination ”because“ no child is a virus ”. And "the most vulnerable"? Here they are not needed, so they remain on the bench.

According to MEP Alessandra Moretti , "if each state remains sovereign, it limits the authority of Europe to be relevant also for these cases". He therefore wonders if "we will be able to renounce … a piece of sovereignty also as regards health and health security … to spread a European protection system". Clear: if the disease flies on the wings of globalism, it takes more globalism. There is, nor can it be, "the climate", which is nowadays in the news like curry to Indian cuisine: "The coronavirus epidemic in progress", writes a doctor in the Fatto Quotidiano , "is one of the consequences of climate change in act ". Who said it? Al Gore, so. To close the circle, a worried reader writes to me: «But cash? Is it possible that no one has yet said that it carries viruses? " No, but we are confident. In the meantime, the good news arrives, that the genome of the virus has been isolated in an institute in Rome. What emerged? What are the practical implications of the discovery? It is not clear, it is not known, because the real scoop is something else: that the research team would be made up of women only , it even seems "southern". Apart from who cares, hearing it announced as an extraordinary fact by the advocates of gender equality always has a certain effect.

More than one commentator has complained about the too much politicization of the story, but frankly it seems to me an understatement . What I see is rather a systematic and centrifugal avoidance of the object, the inability to consider its given and the compulsion to digest it in an immaterial grid of desires, representations and obsessions in order to deform it until it becomes unrecognizable and inert, prostitute to anyone. I see a theater without windows on reality, where only a few shadows enter reality to make the pretext of an already written script. As in the theater, everything becomes a show with clownish collective rites on social media, the formulas repeated in chorus, the clapping on command, the stars to be acclaimed, the extras and the action that converges on the ending devised by the authors and awaited by the public, between vicissitudes free to develop without constraints of likelihood, reasoning and coherence.

In this theater or circus we have fun and reassure each other, we enjoy witnessing the elegant making of our dreams on stage. However, there remains the problem of fiction which, however collective and repeated, cannot affect the reality to which it so freely draws inspiration. I do not know how serious the Coronavirus epidemic is, but the fact of not being able to focus it in its basically banal substance signals a problem that overcomes any health emergency by gravity: that of a civilization blinded by its consoling fictions and contemptuously unaware of all this does not come true. And therefore destined to suffer it.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Il Pedante at the URL on Mon, 10 Feb 2020 06:25:10 PST.