How long have we been locked up?

14, May

We are locked up. I can’t stand this confinement anymore. We have all heard or said words like these during ...

We are locked up. I can’t stand this confinement anymore. We have all heard or said words like these during these days. Are we locked up?

Confinement is not exactly being locked up. We are isolated, in a preventive and compulsory social isolation. “Social” might seem redundant, as an isolation is inherently social. However the obligatory condition, generates every day more controversies.

We are part of an unprecedented global social phenomenon. Although the whole world experiences similar sensations, it is an asynchronous phenomenon. Its impact does not affect everyone in the same way

Isolation can free us from the feeling of confinement if it becomes an opportunity to think about what we want to be, and where we want to go.

Humans are social beings and as such we value predictability.

A phenomenon like the one we are going through constitutes the exact opposite. It requires flexible and adaptive behaviors, it radically changed our habits, it generated uncertainty, anxiety, fear. For some it is a new, unknown threat that can be translated into boredom, frustration, loneliness, sadness, ambivalence, anger. The decline of social life generates anguish. The social distancing and the lack of relationship with the other in the analog world, alters us. We need that hug.

We have our biological clock confused. But what happens to our historical clock? What about our collective clock? Are we rethinking ourselves? Are we actually doing something?

Last week one of these quarantine “challenges” came from Spain in which the challenge was to choose a word for this period of history. And I chose the word “sense”, because it seems key to being able to (re) think (us) and do it in film mode, not in photo mode. Having into account the before, during and after. Fill with content this episode that will finish in some time.

Many fantasize about returning to normality. Are we really going to be able to go back to normality as we knew it? Or are we going to a create a new normal? If we are moving  towards a new normal, wouldn’t it be interesting to get involved in creating it? What do want to be, how do we want to live, how do we want to relate from now on?

Over the past few years we have repeated the word disruption millions of times without being fully aware of what it meant. Now we are experiencing it. We are experiencing a milestone, a turning point, an extraordinary and historical social phenomenon.

No one can forget this period of their own history.  What transformations do we want to make individually and collectively? What does the country contain that we would like to have?

Regarding the world of those who create jobs, we have stopped talking about home office or teleworking to focus on going through the pandemic with the challenge of producing. There are no dichotomies for those who have the responsibility to pay wages, it is the sanitary and the economic, the two dimensions together. There are no external stimuli for those who produce and create work, it is a set made up of individual initiative, collective sectorial decisions and the push of the usual ones. This is based on technology, agility and construction of meaning and is what keeps part of the economic activity alive. There is nothing else.

We, as inhabitants of Latin America, should also take an active role and ask ourselves if we are co-building that new normality. Are we protagonists or mere spectators of some countries? Will we make the long-awaited transformation from inhabitants to citizens?

A few days ago through his Instagram, the Argentine philosopher Nicolás Isola invited us to reflect on the difficulty of leaving where you want to leave.

Many people think America Latina as a film that have been seen too many times. The actors change but the plot and the outcome are always exactly the same. Can we get out of that, our true confinement? How long have we been locked up as companies? How long have we been locked in a single way of thinking about education or a single way of thinking about work? Will we be able to leave behind that economic and social dynamic on many occasions self-destructive? How? What will be our contribution?

Perhaps the answer to this last question is a substantial part of the viability of getting out of the running of the bulls.

The German philosopher Carolin Emcke alerts us: “the pandemic is an authoritarian temptation that invites repression, totalitarian surveillance based on digital data, and nationalist regression”

On the other hand, although not so far, it would seem that we are witnessing a kind of social neo-Darwinism that prioritizes youth over older adults. At a historical moment in which population aging shows us the substantial contribution of knowledge and experience, with active older adults adding value in many countries, ideas appear that advance on freedoms and generate alarming stimuli for the development of diseases that, in many cases have unfortunate consequences; perhaps worse than COVID19.

We are entering, almost without realizing it, in a very dangerous citizen control that tries to overwhelm individual liberties. The pandemic reminds us, with these Foucault controls and this social neo-Darwinism, that we have not overcome episodes that we believed to have been overcome

What is observable today is that those who best emerge from this crisis are countries that have a solid health system. Coincidentally, they are the ones who best manage public affairs, the least corrupt and most efficient states, those that invested and did not steal, those that have the best economic indicators based on the creation of a good business climate and the formation of pertinent talent to take advantage of all the potential. of the knowledge economy. Those with updated regulatory frameworks and high freedom rates. Freedom implies diversity.

A strong public health system, solidarity, mutual care, and healthy economies can beat the virus. States of emergency, curfews, states of siege and deprivation of liberty only add further complexity to the situation and set an extremely worrying precedent.

In this period we can contract more debts. Much more significant than sovereign debts. The real risk is not being able to pay the moral debt that implies not reacting with humanity and republicanism to a crisis in which many countries in our region entered almost naked. Not being able to pay the debt of not embracing diversity, not being encouraged to think of a world of education and work interconnected under different formats

“Quarantine is what happens to hibernating bears: they go into a cave and don’t come out all winter; when they leave, the world is as they left it before hibernating, ”said Argentine President Alberto Fernandez.

The private sector that gives life to our region does not work that way. It is desirable that citizens understand that the world will not be the same and that not only must we protect ourselves from COVID-19, we must protect republican health by creating a new social contract in order to live in the 21st century. This implies commitment and involvement. True citizenship. Diversity.

The time of the real confinement has been excessive. We can go out. It is essential to do so.