Pierre Yves bon parents:- I’m writing these lines from the top floor of my house in Brussels. Belgium’s old houses are tall and having a desk in the attic keeps one fit. It takes four flights of stairs to get to the little room that I had constructed facing the tops of the trees. In the middle of my books, I see the coming of the seasons and this season’s promise of summer. It’s sunny and even a little warm. I can hear the songbirds singing, hardly perturbed by the companionable silence in which they have settled on my little balcony. While paying closer attention, I could also hear the voices and laughter coming from the terrace of the nearby café. Almost certainly, it is the sound of celebration ringing in this trying year. That is the sound of life. Like every other terrace, the terrace of Chez Franz remained empty for an extended period. We sold Christmas trees in December. No more than three weeks of activities, and then nothing. Un long winter, dreary and grey, and long spring, too, like an endless tunnel, with uncertainty and fear cutting like a knife. My little Marcos was infected with Covid in April. The class had turned into a cluster. She’s shut down; then the school is all at once. We had isolation all to ourselves.
It was two months ago when the third wave was about to hit. Over the last several years, as the vaccination campaign has picked up momentum, the amount of time necessary to reclaim our land has decreased little by little, like a liberation. I was given my second injection of Pfizer’s vaccine over the weekend. In other words, she’s given me a lot of room to maneuver. There’s no risk, of course, since that means I’ll have to become an antivaccinationist instead: the only way to escape the plague is by being vaccinated. The use of physical barriers and social distancing has little practical use. It was apparent in the fall of last year when the delayed summer of 2020 after the harsh spring imprisonment had caused the second wave of the pandemic. I believe that the vaccine against Covid should be made mandatory. This is what the National Academy of Medicine in France recommended the other day. No longer is it a problem that we do not have enough vaccines. There are vaccines available, and we will be out of vaccines soon. Or, it’s the key: if 30% of the population refuses vaccinations, we will never achieve collective immunity. The world is in danger, and the only way to stop it is to apply the same rule to the variola virus, diphtheria, tetanus, tuberculosis, or polio as was required to prevent the other deadly diseases.
I am patiently waiting for the masks to fall, the real ones, the ones that have been blocking our face for too long and to the point where we no longer know who’s behind them. The other week, it was with a mask of a child wearing an embroidered bear pelt that I nearly arrived on a necessary appointment at the Prefecture of the Yonne. Still, thankfully I was saved at the last moment by an elderly mask from a jacket pocket when I was getting ready to look ridiculous. A better alternative is to laugh. With the number of tales of this kind, we’ll be able to share all of them after the pandemic. She must retreat then disappear. A season of freedom, if justified, accompanies these beautiful spring days. He may, nevertheless, be reckless when nothing is won. Then, we need to vaccinate, vaccinate again, and we must go for the goal of a happy, social life where we can see our friends and family, meet old relatives, and those we haven’t seen in a while since traveling was too dangerous. Not having grandparents for a year is difficult. I see it for my children. I suspect that when they get in, they’ll be rushing to get to them, arms outstretched, because soon the doors to the car or the airport will be opening, and they will be on their way on vacation.