Quarantine is not Synonymous with Lockdown

By Fernando Buen Abad Domínguez – Jul 15, 2020.

As far as international scientific research allows us to affirm, nobody chose the pandemic but what we have been able to choose is the way to navigate, counteract or diminish the effects and outcomes that are predicted with tools of political-cultural analysis and with tools of hard mathematics and science. The choice is to “stay at home”. Many people say that, when the repertoire of elections is reduced to one, there is no such choice, but this sophistry does not take place when, between elections, the choice of not obeying the quarantine and escaping with all sorts of tricks and maneuvers appear, and they are alive everywhere.

Some, who are not sympathetic to community-organized actions and who, insensitive to the effect of the pandemic, want workers back in their jobs (regardless of the conditions of the contagion), like to emphasize the word “lockdown.” They do so in the same way that they emphasize the word “regime” to refer to humanist-oriented governments that do not put capital above people.

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“Lockdown” is not the same as a voluntary decision to take care of all of us. That decision to “stay home” is an unprecedented global political construct. It is a step of political awareness in which the community understands its participatory role in a public health decision. Staying at home is a mass event that today in the world marks and will demonstrate substantial differences because it is proof that much can be achieved with the organized strength of the community. “Confinement” is something else because, among its many meanings, it alludes to the cessation of the will and with it to profound and diverse negative repercussions on the individual and collective spirit. Confinement is punishment, sanction… it is the opposite of the will to protect oneself from thinking about others. Quarantine is a fact of life and health.

It is also true that “staying at home” is not so easy for many people from different sectors. For these people, quarantine becomes “confinement” not by definition but for the objective circumstances that determine their situation. Not all houses are suitable for quarantine, not all working conditions facilitate “staying at home” and not all human relationships have matured, equally, the challenge of coexistence and companionship in pandemic conditions. All this adds to the majority response that has taken “staying home” an additional meaning with a set of undeniable merits.

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Although media operations continue to resort to the concept of “confinement” to characterize the collective construction of the best defense we have, until the appearance of the vaccines. We will not fail to point out the implicit and explicit content with which they intend to eclipse an international collective achievement in exchange for a tongue-lashing by some scoundrels willing to deny everything that has a positive social and humanist character that comes from their class confinement.


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(Resumen Latinoamericano-English)