Are we all hypocrites? Two thousand twenty will always be the year of Corona. You hear it everywhere, and it seems that a lot of people have a hard time with it. It is difficult for me to fully understand it because here in Norway not much happened. I lived in a little village of 3000 people before and Corona was something you hear about on the news, and we noticed that there where almost no foreign tourists in the museum where I worked. When it all started we did, and still do the 1 meter thing a hand sanitizers were placed everywhere, but their were no cases and there still aren’t to my knowledge. I moved to a bigger city in October and besides the normal precautions, life was normal. Cafe’s where and are open and we visited a lot of museums. Last week they decided that we had to where masks inside stores because here in Trondheim the people tested with Corona went up in a month time from around 1 or 2 to 30 per day, in a population of around 180 000 people. I am not the one to say that it is a little unnecessary, I guess they like to play it safe, and I have to say that it has worked, specially compared to our neighbor Sweden. I know from my family in Holland that it is a little rougher there and my girlfriend is from America and it’s a big mess over there.
I think I have read a little bit to much Noam Chomsky in the past because I have an immediate, and specific reaction when I hear people complain about lock-downs and how hard it all is. I have this reaction specially when it comes from Americans or the British. Off course it is bad that people die from this disease, specially because some of those deaths could have been prevented if people followed the rules better. It is tragic, when you think of the people that died all alone in a hospital with their families in tears behind a window.
My immediate reaction to the complaining and whining is: Iraq war 2003. A decision made by a few men in a room…boom…between 100,000 and a 1,000,000 people unnecessary died. Children, grandfathers and mothers, pregnant woman, fathers…all dead because of… I cant speak for the people that lived in Iraq under the regime of Saddam Hussein, it is not what we are used to but from what I learned, even when you live in such an oppressed society, life and family life goes on. You morn as much over the death of a loved one in prison as you do in freedom. That unnecessary war was like a diseased that hit that country, far worse then Corona will ever do. According to corona-tracker sites there are around a 1000 deaths total in Iraq as per December 2020.
Maybe I am wrong thinking like this, maybe it is only allowed to look at data like this when you are a historian a hundred years in the future.
The following poem gave me the chance to vent my frustration, that I had bottled up till now. Day 1160.
The luxury of pain
In my world
with so little
A few quotes from Noam Chomsky. I can recommend to everyone to read some of his work if you want to see contemporary history through other lenses then the ones we usually wear in the west.
“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum….”
“Everyone’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s really an easy way: Stop participating in it.”
“All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.”
“The number of people killed by the sanctions in Iraq is greater than the total number of people killed by all weapons of mass destruction in all of history.”