Thursday March 12, 2020 Coronavirus diary, 1 :
The virus has arrived here.
The Coronavirus had to catch up with my writing by touching me at the heart of my sensitivity - my youngest is a student in Paris - while I am 1100 kilometers further south in Barcelona. It is Thursday March 12 and the Coronavirus is like a giant walking the planet, ignoring borders and our limitations. He is huge, not really mean, but like these giants of children's stories, he walks without seeing what he is crushing, because he is too big, too awkward and has no other function, like a robot. programmed, to move forward, to move forward, and wherever it goes infecting dozens and dozens of people.
Just two months ago he was an ugly little beast that appeared in a market for live wild animals stored and sold in the Chinese hinterland in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province. We remember that bird flu, after mutating in the body of pigs, was transmitted to humans. We had to do with the same phenomenon, the emergence of a virus at the bottom of the planet, in a society where we drink bottled snake to be stronger, where the dried bat wing protects from the evil eye, in China, far, very far from home. Let us remember, China was indicted for a planetary spy case through its Huawei phone network - the American boss had kicked him out of his territory with a big kick in the ass. And now, armed with our binoculars in our turf stands, we watched with skepticism how the great power operated, quarantining an entire region, establishing the confinement of an entire population, canceling all the Chinese New Year festivities, showing off workers happy to spend their leisure time building Wuhan emergency hospitals. Sacred nation that put modern surveillance technology - through train or metro tickets - at the service of tracking the inhabitants of Wuhan lost beyond their borders.
As in video games, a phone application signaled with a flashing red dot the slightest movement of a Wuhan resident. Of course, we had to move away from the red dot at all costs. It was far, very far from us these twilight images of columns of trucks moving slowly and at night in the deserted city, in the cloud of chemicals with which they sprayed the bars of buildings. Disinfect, she said.
Two months later, as China folds its sleeves, closes its emergency hospitals - now useless as the disease has subsided - the virus arrived here. Like in a rugby game, we were given a ball that we didn't want… What will we do with it?
Illustrations are by Juanjo SURACE