State of (mental) Emergency

Here we go again. Portugal returns to State of Emergency. Again. As the numbers of new cases and deaths keep growing, our mental state declines accordingly. It has been 8 months since our first lockdown. And we have been swinging on a thin thread of uncertainty, desperately trying to keep our balance by moving forward, one foot after the other, ever since. Although scary, it sounds doable. Except that the thread is weaker than a spiderweb, our feet clumsy, the wind blows from every possible direction and there is a pond of burning lava underneath us. Between states of Calamity, of political instability, of Contingency, of Emergency, of bipolar attitudes of widespread fear intermingled with an “oh fuck it” posture by the same citizens within one same day, we can say we’ve had it all. Funny things about this tragedy? There are some.

#1 The Director-General of Health.

Forced to speak to the public and the press every day, she has been accusing the pressure since…day 1. From claiming this virus would never spread between two humans, up until suggesting that schools should work on a segregated scheme in which teachers would go one day and the students on the next, she has said all kinds of jokes in an attempt to make us giggle… and doubt about the existence of her medschool diploma.

#2 The Covid-deniers.

We all know those wives that are cheated for a lifetime but pretend their catholic God-approved family life is better than ever. Deep down they are aware that they are living in hell, that everything is collapsing around them, that their soul is drying out at each passing day, but instead of acknowledging all that, they prefer to point fingers to every peasant that crosses the street, blaming them for their misery and for all the bad in this world. Well, Covid-deniers are those miserable cheated wives. Not all of these wives, of course. Only the ones that happen to also be schizophrenic , who hang on to complex conspiracy theories AND have access to (the modern-world version of a megaphone) social media.

#3 The nonsense, ambivalent, ambiguous rules on mask-wearing.

“DON’T YOU DARE WASTING ALL THE AVAILABLE MASKS! MASKS ARE ONLY FOR THE SICK. You know what, maybe just wear it in case you suspect you might be infected. Otherwise, it provides a fake feeling of protection that is not real. You heard me? Noooooot real! UPDATES ON THE NEW EMERGENCY STATE: Wearing a mask is T-H-E—O-N-L-Y proven form of protection against this infection [Aww really? Don’t tell me…] and it is therefore MANDATORY IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES, INCLUDING WHEN YOU ARE ALONE AT AN EMPTY BEACH WITH NO SOUL TO BE SEEN! Not wearing a mask means breaking the law, and is now fined accordingly.”

#4 The nonsense, ambivalent, ambiguous rules on social distancing (while saving the economy)

“If you are planning some sort of social gathering, 5 people are allowed. If you decide to do it in a restaurant, don’t be egocentric for a change and have the decency of thinking about our economy…invite one more friend and make it 6.” [This makes sense. We all know this 6th friend is the one with big money, who’s gonna fill up the cash register of any restaurant and bring no extra risk of infection to any of the other group members. Pray for economy, amen.]

Here we are again. In this ever-changing “new normality”. Pretending to be ok, while our President declares State of Emergency and our brains declare state of mental emergency. Keep strong,

Cae

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