Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The Final Solution: I-It

People usually find strength in numbers. There are candlelight vigils when injustices or crimes have occurred. A number of bikers were killed this past year in New York and there have been angry marches, protesting the city's inability to provide adequate protections. In the midst of a scourge or pandemic whether it’s the Bubonic Plague, Ebola or the current Coronavirus this kind of solace is contraindicated. The advice is to avoid large groups, particularly if you're an older individual and also to avoid close contact with others. Holding hands as a sign of unity is no longer recommended. You’re not going to find too many Hands Across America movements of the kind that the director Jordan Peele satirized in his horror film, Us (2019)One of the side effects, you might say, of a virus, is isolation. If man is a social animal then this basic instinct is thwarted when contagion becomes a threat. Lots of people are entertaining ways in which they can recuse themselves from society while still doing their jobs and remaining responsible members of their communities. However, body warmth in a literal and metaphorical sense should not be underestimated. Solitary confinement and isolation are two of the most onerous punishments and while many individuals will find ways of compensating for the loss of human contact, restricted travel and movement can be a little like SAD, seasonal affective disorder. In this case it’s not the loss of light that’s the source of the depression, it’s a diminution of the faculties of empathy and altruism, (the Ich/Du rather than Ich/Es relation that Martin Buber delineates) which come into play when people live in close proximity to each other.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.