Don’t be afraid to dream after COVID

On March 25, 2020, I wrote this. As a cancer survivor, I find that in all societies, the shock of the news of a global pandemic is similar to the shock of a cancer diagnosis.

After denial and anger, gradually comes acceptance of the unknown and adaptation to the unpredictable, but this is vital. Because without them, the struggle, whatever the outcome, is impossible.

So we are 13 months later. By the fall, at least 85% of the population should be vaccinated with two doses – the first real improvement. Promise remission that.

Like cancer, even a possible remission from a pandemic promises to be fraught with precautions. A warning not to be given up until a good lease. Including wearing a mask. Faced with such a fierce respiratory virus, it’s inevitable.

In short, let’s dare to dream after COVID, but let’s do it the way we dream after chemotherapy. Holding on until the end of the treatment, and then after it.

A few days ago I re-read the masterpiece of the late Jean-Dominique Bobi, Diving bell and butterfly… The analogy with the pandemic is just as strong here.

From wetsuit to butterfly

The famous French journalist and editor-in-chief of the magazine died in 1997. it tells the story of the “isolation syndrome” he fell into in 1995 after a stroke that left him in a coma.

Unable to speak and completely paralyzed, except for the left eyelid, at the age of 42, Jean-Dominique Boby became a prisoner in his own body. His mind is intact. However, without leaving the hospital bed, thanks to the flashing code, he will be able to dictate his book to his co-author.

We will not remain unharmed from this reading. Locked in a body, doomed to no longer move – or limited, as one might say during a pandemic – he experiences his most beautiful moments, little or great happiness.

The life lesson he gives us is heartbreaking and inspiring. In this pandemic that severely fetters us at home and cuts us off from the world, I especially love this passage.

Vivid, it sheds light on the powers of imagination in the face of adversity: “I loved to travel. Fortunately, over the years I have been able to accumulate enough images, scents and sensations to get away on those days when here the dark blue sky forbids any prospect to go out. “

Hope for newfound freedom

Jean-Dominique Boby never saw a real way out of the “diving suit” of absolute isolation, in which he was walled up by this shit of confinement syndrome. Only death will bring it out forever.

He will finally leave him for the wings of a butterfly. They will make him fly, peace of mind, towards the sun. This pandemic is something like the same metaphor.

He lives in our protective suit. As individuals and as a society. Do this in the hope of freedom once acquired, whatever it may be.

For now, let’s not relax. The butterfly in us, alive and well, is just around the corner. The flapping of his wings is almost audible. It would be a shame if he eluded us due to a lack of vigilance, both for himself and for others.

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