Day Sixteen of ORCA in Switzerland – Pandemic Solitude

By | 31 March 2020

I was writing a Facebook post when I thought of the term Pandemic Solitude and I love it so much that I wanted to use it as a title for today’s blog post. For most people during the pandemic the order is, stay with the people you live with but avoid being close to others.

When you live with no one this means that you should avoid being close to anyone. Yesterday and today I exchanged words with petrol station workers from two meters away, and with a plate of plexiglass between us. I also talked to a scooter shop owner and here too I stayed about three meters away. It might sound distant in other times but that’s intimate during a pandemic.

Imagine if you were in this situation during a pandemic. How long would you cope with it? That’s why the graph for the rate of infections in Vaud makes me melancholic. That graph, although it’s not getting worse, is staying constant, and at that rate of infections, it means we’re in it for the long haul. It has been steady for five weeks and it could go on for another five weeks or more.

As I walked I saw that spring is still moving forward as planned and that’s when I came up with the thought; “This year spring, for Humans, has been delayed, but flowers and trees are budding and flowering.

Usually at this time of year people would be heading to the beaches, to the mountains and to other places and they’d be enjoying the first rays of the spring sun, and they’d be working on getting their summer chrominance, or at least load up on Vitamin D. This year most people are staying home.

Those that you see the most are mischievous children, enjoying a world where parents and grown-ups are not around to tell them off. Imagine all the mischief they’re up to.

As we’re speaking of grown-ups being invisible I’m also puzzled by the lack of people posting on social media. I would have thought that everyone would be using social media and that conversations would be vibrant but there is no vibrancy. Information services are tweeting and posting to social media but individuals are absent. Where is everyone? Why wasn’t this the opportunity that we thought it would be.

It doesn’t matter, but as a result I have kept my Twitter and Facebook tabs closed. During this crisis, social media is failing us.

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