The swellIn its non-metaphorical sense, it is a phenomenon that occurs in waves when the wind and the sea do not agree. It consists of a succession of waves that come from a different direction than the one produced by the wind. Normally, they have been originated elsewhere by some different event to the reality that we are perceiving at that moment.
In general, these waves are a reflection of something that has already passed, a windstorm, but which, due to its size, has left an imbalance in the form of a memory that the system will take some time to absorb.
It seems that the most important consequence of this circumstance for sailors is that it makes it very uncomfortable to be stopped, or at anchor, which is how a boat should be referred to when it is parked. In this situation, although the winds could already be favorable, we will not get rid of that feeling that causes us anguish and dizziness if we do not get going.
With the pandemic and its successive waves, the situation begins to be a bit similar. We remain informatively focused on the detail of evidence that was useful when it was time for anticipation and prevention, but that now does not contribute much for the future and leaves us anchored in an experience that we will only overcome when, as a society, we decide to decree its final. And, in this case, being very specific, the end will be the moment when we definitely remove the mask. We put it on late and badly advised, and we are already taking it off late and without any criteria.
With a mandatory mask, recovering normality is quite difficult and repeating the mistake of aspiring to a “new normal” it will condemn us, by definition, to settle into something abnormal which, although it may be something new, will not necessarily be a good thing. With no obligation to use the mask, but with a lack of scientific clarity about its convenience, we are also sentenced that the option of going or not muffled is yet another form of division of society and the new external sign of the cultural battle.
We need to regain confidence in scientific evidence as soon as possible and restore the reputation of a science that has surprised us very positively with its ability to provide solutions, especially with vaccines, but which has failed miserably in communication due to the mixing and confusion of experts with politicians.
The philosopher Josep María Esquirol (who has published a new book: “Human, more human”) warned us in one of his previous books (“Intimate resistance”) against the “threat of the insiders”, and encouraged us to distinguish, as Montaigne did, amid rudimentary ignorance, which precedes science. And the learned and wise ignorance that science itself generates. The worst, as almost always, is to stay in the middle ground where the insiders parasitize, whom the French philosopher described very graphically as those who have “their asses between two chairs.” And of these, unfortunately, the pandemic has produced a parallel epidemic.
We relive the paradoxical situation, described so many times, and which is summarized in a phrase attributed to Bertrand Russell, in which “the stupid are sure of everything and the intelligent full of doubts.”
It is urgent for us to reconcile ourselves with merit as soon as possible and return respect to those who can most help us understand things and separate ourselves from this dystopian and virtual reality, as well as false, in which we are immersed.