The train stopped between two stations, there, underground, in darkness. It was only a minute, but it served to remind my body of the reasons I stopped taking the subway a few years ago: fear is loose, and it is alive…Even though I am the kind of person who feels fear constantly, through the years I have been able to devise ways to cope with it. Sometimes, I simply avoid situations that make me panic completely, and at other times, when avoidance seems impossible, I look for the way to go through the hard time as quickly as possible.
But during these months, fear has been turning up gradually. The first weeks, the fear that my mother would get the virus took over my life. Then came the fear that my sisters, my aunts, my husband would catch it…Then came the sorrow, that I assume is a form of fear as well, and finally the uncertainty (in all its manifestations) that came to stay, arrived.
I returned to New York a month ago, and today, seeing how the second wave of Coronavirus sweeps through Europe, I was thinking that the only certainty we have now is that there will be another wave, and then another, and that it will take a while for us to recuperate, from the virus and from poverty. In reality, we have no idea how we are going to come out of all this. We only know that we must cover our mouths, wash our hands, and distance; these are the tools we have, and until there is a vaccine, there is not much to hold on to.
Would that the media, the experts, and the politicians could teach us to deal with this fear without turning us against each other, without finger-pointing. The relief that a reliable culture and judicious socializing brought us, were the two spiritual tools that we had as a society…and now what?