We are publishing submissions about the COVID-19 crisis from readers daily on NewPhilosopher.com in the hope that it can help us all make sense of what is happening, and as a historical record of how it made us feel. Here are your thoughts, from around the world.

By Sandra Loyola (words) and Rafael Ontiveros (artwork), Mexico

It seems contradictory to any sort of fight, but our way of doing battle today is to create distance, to not touch each other, to isolate. How will this affect us in the future? In his book Mass and Power, Elias Canetti pondered on the human fear to touch. He said that “all distances that humans have created with their surroundings have emerged from this fear of being touched.” It seems like this virus is a symptom of our fears.

The pathological risk of the contact between our bodies is real, even if we do not know exactly how or why - questions science should be answering and the media should be sharing efficiently. Now, we only have the certainty of a need to keep a “safe distance”, to stop the rhythm of the city and that of our bodies. Something invisible is stopping us and, while the city becomes silent, we know very little of the unending socio-environmental reparations that will be faced even in the best of outcomes.




Parece contradictorio a toda forma de lucha, pero hoy nuestra manera de combate es distanciarnos, no tocarnos, aislarnos ¿cómo afectará esto en un posible futuro? Elias Canetti en su libro de Masa y Poder reflexionó sobre el temor humano al tacto. Dijo que “todas las distancias que los hombres han ido creando a su alrededor han surgido de este temor a ser tocado”. Parece que este virus es un síntoma de nuestros miedos.

El riesgo patológico del contacto de nuestros cuerpos es real aunque no sabemos exactamente cómo y por qué, preguntas que la ciencia debería estar contestando y que los medios deberían estar divulgando eficientemente. Ahora solo tenemos la certeza de la necesidad de mantener una “sana distancia”, frenar el ritmo de la ciudad y de nuestros cuerpos. Algo invisible nos desacelera y mientras la ciudad se silencia sabemos poco sobre la interminable tarea de reparación socioambiental a la que nos enfrentaremos en el mejor de los escenarios.