Emad Barsoum writes: Solitary Confinement
Many of us hear words, expressions, even facts about events and incidents that we never experienced, and sometimes our reactions are not in line with these incidents and facts. Most of us heard, through movies, about the solitary confinement during a period of imprisonment, specially how it was demonstrated in the prominent movie “Papillion – 1973” and its remake in 2017.
Nevertheless, what we hear or see in movies is far from what real life is about, we may know a co-worker, or a friend who has been diagnosed by Covid-19 or its variants, but we are ignorant about how, in fact, they feel about it. How their symptoms vary and change daily, and how they are living a nightmare afraid to be transferred to hospital or intensive care units if their condition deteriorates. They don’t know what is coming next… Is it the end of life…?
While writing this article, I am spending two weeks in solitary confinement at home, in a room, isolated from all my beloved ones. Food is left for me outside the door, we communicate through video apps on cell phones, and all of us share the same fear, who is next and what if my situation worsens.
The feeling of loneliness and isolation is doubled when we cannot have family or friends next to us, keeping our morals high to conquer the disease, the only company we have is the TV and social media, which carry devastating news about the spread of the virus, the new variants, different opinions about vaccines, lockdown, as if it is the end of days. While governments are trying hard now, after they have failed earlier to contain the pandemic in a shorter period.
Nonetheless, and during the long hours of confinement, several factors have been clearly revealed and the conspiracy theories are endless. On one hand we have those who claim that they know well, from a doctor hiding on an island from secret intelligence because he has information about the massive plot to reduce the earth’s population. To another person catering food to the scientists in a lab in the east overheard them talking about the time of the dooms day. Many stories that could make a whole bunch of low-budget Sci Fi movies.
Then a second team of people who claim to have inside information from pharmaceutical companies about the scheme to sell more drugs, so they destroy the world with vaccine until no one is left to buy their drugs. Or the richest people’s plan to reduce population so they can enjoy the resources, forgetting that their wealth in fact was created because of the high population, and if the number of people is reduced, then no one will work for them, no production, and no buyers for their products and services.
The conspiracy theories are endless, and it is a shame when, first, we hear some of them come out from whom we thought as reputable people, second, the governments which are not trying to provide clear information and face its citizens as adults, not children that need custody over their minds. Finally shame on people whom instead of helping stop the spread of virus, they spread rumors and false information.
I wish that the solitary confinement for those who have passed through it, would be the motive to carry on the responsibility of helping reduce the pandemic till the day we all live without fences or masks again.