Image © Elba Quintero 2020
|by Elba Quintero
|March 29, 2020
I find it hard to trust in this reality. I wake up after consciously sleeping for as long as I can, avoiding these unfamiliar thoughts of what truth really is. How fluid is my sense of existence, how unaware I was of all the possibilities that technology brings to us. We can see it as a positive tool: here we are all in the middle of a pandemic, receiving valuable information almost instantly, being aware of the situation of others, coming up together with new ways of facing life. But I’m also deeply frightened about the negative side of it: none of us will be the same, our capacity of questioning authority will be heavily damaged, we have proven to ourselves that we’re easily manageable as masses, our current moral – what we think is right and wrong – has changed so fast that we didn’t even ask ourselves if it truly led us to a better path.
I always thought that throughout modern history, the best way of bringing people together as a means of control was to have a common enemy. That is still valid today, the feeling of hating the same thing (or people, as sad as it is) definitely seems to work when trying to bring people closer, but now it has evolved. It’s not about hate anymore, it’s about fear. It’s about taking advantage of one of the most primary feelings, the one that makes us fight or flight, the one that is so rooted in our survival that no one will ever question it. People with power will use fear to move us from now on. What we’re living today is a definitive proof that fear is the right element to create when masses need to react, to adapt, to move, to follow a path. I hope that I’m mistaken, but I foresee a future of fear. Fear seems to be the right element to make people panic enough so that they won’t use their capabilities to reason, question, think clearly, or act in any way. I know that when I’m scared I tend to become paralysed. I can see us all paralysed. I really hope we can react and escape.
These past days have been overwhelming to say the least. I don’t know how to react, so I’ve been over-analyzing everything to feel like I have enough information to make the right decision, but I’m beginning to think that the right decision doesn’t exist. It’s all an illusion. So I don’t need to have that much information, there’s no real need to know everything that’s happening everywhere, this impulse of checking twitter 30 times a day doesn’t make any sense, I need to chill the fuck out. So I read, I write, I listen to Beethoven and Ravel, and I try to stay creative. I also need to stay ‘productive’ 40 hours a week, try to keep my mental health on track, work out, clean up, socialize, and stay calm. Always staying calm. Always avoiding the thought of the system cracking down, always staying away from the skeptic side of my brain – the same one who keeps throwing a chaotic reality to my conscious state.
Elba Quintero (she/her – Guadalajara, Mexico, 1984) is a Berlin-based writer, poet, and photographer. Her work revolves around migration, feminism, mental health, the experience of having a conscious state, inclusion, and Berlin. She’s a board member of Women Writing Berlin Lab, and works as a copywriter in health tech. You can find more of her work at elbaquintero.com (in Spanish).