Trapped in a circus of doubts and promises, we do not foresee the outcome.
I remember when the most exciting part of circus shows was the lion episode. Of course, in those days, the cruelty of such an act did not even cross my mind, nor, of course, did I sense the danger implicit in such savagery. Today we are in more or less the same situation, but faced with an invisible and lethal beast that stalks us from the most unexpected corners. It is a mutant virus – like all viruses – whose power has conditioned our existence in such a subtle and perverse way that we are not even able to measure its potency.
In the course of the many decades, we have lived through to the present day, I never imagined that fear would be so easily installed in all human communities at the same time; nor did I imagine that we would be incapable of weighing the danger implicit in a health experiment such as the one that has conditioned our behaviour. I look around me and I am amazed at our capacity to adapt to the most extreme situations, to the point of not even questioning the relevance of the rules under which we go about our daily lives.
This forces me to look around to gauge the extent of change. However, it is impossible to quantify the impact of the new scenario on children and young people, who have suddenly found themselves confined, limited in their movements, cloistered in homes rarely suitable for prolonged confinement and, worse still, deprived of play, fun and fresh air. The long-term consequences are an enigma, but they will undoubtedly be a reality capable of profoundly affecting new generations.
Today we watch the lions in the ring with the thrill of risk, half believing in the tamer’s ability to prevent them from devouring us, but without the certainty that the tamer knows how to do it. So it is with the closed circle of science: there are the expert opinions on the variants of the virus, the arguments for and against vaccines, the reasonable doubts about our ability to influence it all and, above all, the fear of losing control over our right to choose which decisions to make.
On top of this uncertainty, the strategies of the circles of power have been installed for political expediency; strategies that we are not only not informed about, but which are simply applied for the purpose of controlling our rights and freedoms by placing an apparently appropriate clamp on them. Hence, the media environment – which has always responded to hegemonic interests – emphasises the need for collective submission and blind acceptance of restrictive rules, often bordering on abuse of authority. But always in favour of the elites in power.
It is not surprising, therefore, that violence against children, young people and women whose status is precarious is on the rise. Also against journalists and community leaders. This is because these important sectors of society, despite their struggles, continue to suffer the attacks of a repressive and dehumanising system. That is why, from the stands, we watch the lions in the ring with such fear. Because the space conquered thanks to the awakening of social sectors committed to change has been diminished by that invisible and opportunistic beast whose attack has upset the rules of the game and has us trapped on the ropes.
The transformation of our environment has been so progressive and subtle that we have become accustomed to it, almost without feeling it. This adaptation is one of the characteristics of our species and has favoured us throughout the ages; however, faced with this scenario of uncertainty and fear, we have surrendered our weapons and submitted to the decisions of others, with very little power to participate and even less capacity to calculate their scope, in all its magnitude. Time will tell.
Uncertainty has become another normal ingredient of our day.