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#Contagion Chronicles – Day 14

Italy. March 24, 2020. Today we finally got out of the house… we’ve been locked up for days. We drive around a deserted city, see parked cars, hardly anyone around. Looks like there’s just been a chemical war.

Originally published by The Plagua and the Fire. Translated by Enough 14.

I’m driving, she’s in the back seat, the one opposite of my seat. Even if we sleep in the same bed, if they stop us now next to each other they might report us, someone says imprisonment. But we decided to avoid taking risks because we’re breaking the law today, we’re already breaking it. We’re out without a “good reason”.

We stop in the parking lot of a supermarket so that being out of the house doesn’t attract attention. We cover our mouths and mix with the flock. The line flows but we don’t, we start thinking someone might notice, so we appease.

We’re nervous.

Then they come and instinctively, we break another ban. We cross the line we’re supposed to keep and embrace them. We go too far and even kiss a couple of times. Then we look around. There don’t seem to be any informers, but maybe that gentleman… we are five people together, we don’t have gloves or masks, we decide it’s not safe.

Then let’s get go again, car after car.

One of them is hiding under the seat, if they saw all three of them together in one car they would stop them and would have to justify their presence. They don’t even have a form or a receipt to show them. What are they doing here? The place where we thought we’d do what we have to do is too crowded because of our timing, we have to find another one.

We remember a place, but it’s a bit far away, we’ll have to drive around a bit. Let’s try to avoid any roadblocks by taking side streets, there are no cars around, they would stop us.

At the end we arrive at the place, take the suitcase and quickly move away from the cars, hiding for possible passers-by.

We nervously check around, it seems that everyone is locked in their protected houses, burial plots of contagion. We’re safe here, we can start, no one should notice.

We sit down, take out the food and start talking…

What until a few days ago appeared self-evident, is no longer so. Those who caused the epidemic take away almost all of our remaining individual freedoms today.

We now live in a totalitarian dictatorship. A techno-totalitarianism because, compared to historical totalitarianisms, the obsolete ones, the contemporary ones can use sophisticated technological instruments to control us. From cameras, to phone tracking, controlling calls, data , text messages.

And, of course, they still use the old ways, those never go out of style. The checkpoint, the baton, the search, the rifle, the intimidation, the prison. And then the classic denunciation, because inside every good citizen hides a half-cop.

They say it will be an exceptional period, that everything will go back to the way it was before, we will have our limited freedoms back. But they’ve lied to us too many times. Why should we trust them this time?

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