Victoria Jelinek


Covid-19 5 Avril, 2020

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Cher Monsieur President Macron,

J’Ă©tais fier et soulagĂ© quand la France a commencĂ© rapidement et avec fermetĂ© le 16 mars. J’ai fĂ©licitĂ© le gouvernement français Ă  chaque occasion de «prendre de l’avance» sur la courbe. Je me sentais protĂ©gĂ©. Depuis, j’ai changĂ© incommensurablement «mon air».

Hier, je suis sorti (dans la voiture) chercher des cigarettes. C’Ă©tait la premiĂšre fois que je conduisais en trois semaines ou parcourais plus d’un kilomĂštre. À mon grand Ă©tonnement, les gens Ă©taient rassemblĂ©s en groupes dans les coins, le long des routes, Ă  bicyclette, profitant de la journĂ©e ensoleillĂ©e et se tenant proche de l’autre, parlant en groupes et en groupes. Comme s’il n’y avait pas de virus infectant les deux chiffres en France seulement. De plus, au cours de la derniĂšre semaine, j’ai remarquĂ© depuis notre vĂ©randa arriĂšre, qui surplombe une petite route, des groupes de personnes qui n’ont pas l’air liĂ©es (sont en fait similaires en Ăąge) Ă  faire du jogging, de la marche et du vĂ©lo ensemble.

C’est trĂšs inquiĂ©tant. Au magasin de cigarettes, l’homme derriĂšre le comptoir ne portait pas de masque ni de gants, et ne m’a pas simplement fait effectuer un paiement «tactile», mais a pris ma carte et saisi les informations manuellement, et a pris chacun des magazines que j’achetais et les scannĂ© chacun manuellement, comme il l’a Ă©galement fait avec chaque paquet de cigarettes. Il a touchĂ© chacun de mes objets Ă  fond. J’Ă©tais mortifiĂ©. Je lui ai demandĂ© pourquoi il n’avait aucune protection pour lui-mĂȘme et pour les autres, comme un masque ou des gants, et il a bĂȘtement rĂ©pondu: “Je me sens bien.” Mes voisins partent chaque jour, avec leur famille et leurs chiens, deux ou trois heures Ă  la fois, puis reviennent, puis repartent encore deux ou trois heures, tout au long de la journĂ©e, chaque jour. J’ai deux amis qui m’ont demandĂ© sĂ©parĂ©ment de les rencontrer pour boire un verre chez eux, me disant qu’ils le font avec d’autres amis.

Pas Ă©tonnant que la France soit si riche en infections et en dĂ©cĂšs consĂ©cutifs. Le confinement DOIT ĂȘtre appliquĂ© ou il n’a tout simplement aucun.

Hier, j’ai regardĂ© un extrait de nouvelles (Ă©trangĂšre) expliquant pourquoi il y a des endroits dans le monde qui ont le virus corona, mais qui ne voient PAS les infections rapides OU les dĂ©cĂšs, comme en France, en Italie et en Espagne. En Islande, ils testent activement la population, puis ils ont des DETECTIVES, des forces de police, trouvant TOUTES les personnes possibles avec lesquelles une personne infectĂ©e a Ă©tĂ© en contact au cours des deux semaines prĂ©cĂ©dentes, puis les mettant en quarantaine pour une obligation deux semaines, souvent trois. CoĂ»teux? Est-ce moins cher d’avoir un confinement dans un pays oĂč les gens le traitent avec une attitude cavaliĂšre?

Au Vietnam, en CorĂ©e du Sud et Ă  TaĂŻwan (juste en face d’un petit canal en provenance de Chine), ils ont maintenu la propagation en vĂ©rifiant les personnes qui arrivent par avion pour la fiĂšvre, puis en les ramenant chez eux dans une voiture gouvernementale (seule!) Et en les mettant en quarantaine. Encore une fois, ils effectuent des tests massifs sur la population, mettent en quarantaine ceux qui sont positifs, puis recherchent activement leurs contacts potentiels au cours des deux semaines prĂ©cĂ©dentes. De plus, ils publient qui est infectĂ© afin que les gens puissent voir s’ils ont Ă©tĂ© en contact avec la personne infectĂ©e. De cette façon, tout le monde AILLEURS n’est pas en lock-out et le pays n’est pas fermĂ© et souffre d’une catastrophe financiĂšre ET le virus ne se propage pas. Est-ce une violation des libertĂ©s civiles? Est-ce moins le cas pour nous dire que nous devons avoir un morceau de papier justifiant pourquoi nous sommes Ă  l’extĂ©rieur, ainsi que notre carte d’identitĂ©, ne devrait ĂȘtre Ă  l’extĂ©rieur que pendant une heure, et la crĂ©ation d’une situation dans laquelle les voisins s’espionnent les uns les autres avec suspicion et la colĂšre dans leur cƓur?

L’Organisation mondiale de la santĂ© a dĂ©clarĂ© dĂšs le dĂ©but que le moyen le plus efficace de lutter contre la nature infectieuse du virus Corona est de procĂ©der Ă  des tests massifs de la population, d’isoler les personnes atteintes de la maladie, puis de rechercher «de maniĂšre agressive» toutes les personnes dans lesquelles elles se trouvaient. Les contacter et les isoler Ă©galement. Oui, cela coĂ»te cher et cela nĂ©cessite un grand effort coordonnĂ©, mais est-ce plus cher que de fermer l’économie pour «endiguer le flux» de patients vers les hĂŽpitaux?

En parcourant le nombre de personnes infectĂ©es par pays et par État sur le site Web de l’UniversitĂ© John Hopkins, je note que mĂȘme si certains États des États-Unis, la SuĂšde, la Suisse, par exemple, N’ONT PAS de confinement en vigueur, ils ONT instillĂ© des mesures de sĂ©curitĂ© ( pas de place dans les restaurants, tous assis Ă  six pieds de distance, nombre limitĂ© dans une rĂ©union, travail Ă  domicile si vous le pouvez, fermetures d’Ă©coles, etc.), qui SONT appliquĂ©es et qui sont par consĂ©quent respectĂ©es par les gens, et le virus ne se propage pas! Pourquoi y a-t-il beaucoup moins de cas d’infection dans ces États des États-Unis, en SuĂšde, au Luxembourg, en Suisse, en Belgique, etc. qu’en France (ou en Italie ou en Espagne) et mĂȘme moins de dĂ©cĂšs, alors que la France, l’Italie et l’Espagne sont confinement total?

Quel est le but de paralyser l’Ă©conomie et de faire en sorte que CERTAINS d’entre nous adhĂšrent au confinement, alors qu’il y a Ă©videmment BEAUCOUP de personnes qui ne respectent pas les rĂšgles? Dans l’Ă©tat actuel des choses, les gens voient Ă©videmment l’amende potentielle de 135e pour ne pas avoir adhĂ©rĂ© aux mesures de confinement comme une menace vide. Alors que je remplis chaque jour le journal pour moi et ma famille avec notre raison de sortir, je n’ai pas vu un seul officier de police, mĂȘme une fois depuis que nous nous sommes isolĂ©s le 14 mars.

Je suis sceptique que mon pays fera ce qui est dans le meilleur intĂ©rĂȘt de la nation. En fait, je crains que la France ne mette un terme au confinement – pour tout ce qu’il vaut – trop tĂŽt en raison de l’adhĂ©sion aux arguments «économiques» des mĂȘmes personnes Ă  courte vue et Ă©goĂŻstes qui n’adhĂšrent pas au confinement, renvoient nos enfants Ă  l’Ă©cole (mettre en danger parce qu’il y aura eu beaucoup de divergences dans la façon dont les familles respectives se sont «auto-isolĂ©es») et puis il y aura encore une nouvelle augmentation terrible des infections et des dĂ©cĂšs, et un autre confinement inefficace, et ainsi de suite.

Le gouvernement français a bien commencĂ© – de maniĂšre dĂ©cisive et rapide – puis a Ă©chouĂ© par la dĂ©sorganisation. Pour remĂ©dier Ă  cela, veuillez soit appliquer activement le confinement, OU tester la population, mettre en quarantaine les personnes malades et rechercher activement celles avec lesquelles elles ont Ă©tĂ© en contact (ou publier les donnĂ©es publiquement), et les isoler Ă©galement.

Merci pour votre considération.

SincÚres amitiés,



Covid-19 March 14, 2020
March 16, 2020, 10:06 am
Filed under: Corona 2020 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
ClaustrophobiaÉdouard Philippe, the Prime Minister of France, has declared that as of midnight, France will shut down everything non essential. Only grocer, newsagents, petrol, chemists, banks will remain open. We are told to only go out for supplies, light exercise, and to vote in the municipal elections tomorrow. The closures are “indefinite.”
They will pay businesses to pay their employees if they must shut, otherwise they must work remotely, taxes due in march will be delayed. (Nothing mentioned about we freelancers who aren’t paid when we don’t work).
This is when the gravity of the situation hits me. They wouldn’t do this unless it was truly serious. This will be a huge, financial hit for the French economy – an economy already drained of its coffers, with an aging population, a lot of social benefits provided to its citizens and not enough tax income.
This is when panic sets in.
I’m claustrophobic – always sit on the end of a theater or movie row, or the outside of a bench in a restaurant, or the side of the bed not against the wall, etc.
We can’t leave.
There is nowhere in the world we could go to avoid this.


XV: The European Elections 2019

I have long maintained that Russia has a long range plan to “bury the West” and it’s working (Brexit, Trump, US Tariffs, oil industry interests over clean energy interests, ‘dark money’ to campaigns of Le Pen, Salvini, hacking of Macron’s offices prior to his win).

Financing Assad’s war in Syria = refugees to Europe = opportunities for right wing politicians to rally their populaces to anti-immigration and Euro skeptic beliefs. And now, with the European Elections on the horizon, populations have bought into this hateful, fearful rhetoric and are poised to vote for these right-wing nationalists who are the antithesis of what the European Union symbolizes and who will undermine all of the great work the European Union has accomplished. Have voters learned NOTHING from the debacle of Brexit and Trump?

We ARE stronger together.

Here’s a reminder of all that the EU has given us, and that we take for granted (obviously) each day:

Je soutiens depuis longtemps que la Russie a un plan Ă  long terme pour “enterrer l’Occident” et que cela fonctionne (Brexit, Trump, les tarifs amĂ©ricains, les intĂ©rĂȘts de l’industrie pĂ©troliĂšre avant les intĂ©rĂȘts de l’Ă©nergie propre, la “monnaie noire” aux campagnes de Le Pen, Salvini, le piratage de Macron avant sa victoire).

Financement de la guerre d’Assad en Syrie = rĂ©fugiĂ©s en Europe = opportunitĂ©s pour les politiciens de droite de rallier leur population Ă  des convictions anti-immigration et sceptiques vis-Ă -vis de l’euro. Et maintenant, avec les Ă©lections europĂ©ennes Ă  l’horizon, les populations ont adhĂ©rĂ© Ă  cette rhĂ©torique odieuse et craintive et sont sur le point de voter pour ces nationalistes de droite qui sont l’antithĂšse de ce que l’Union europĂ©enne symbolise et qui vont saper tout le travail accompli. Les Ă©lecteurs ont-ils appris rien de la dĂ©bĂącle du Brexit et de Trump? Nous sommes plus forts ensemble.

Voici un rappel de tout ce que l’UE nous a donnĂ© et que nous tenons pour acquis (Ă©videmment) chaque jour:

what EU has done for us.jpg large copy 2



XII: Fighting Despair

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” Martin Luther King

Birch treesEven as I write this I know that I must continue to maintain hope for the sake of my young son and all that I know is excellent, beautiful, and good in this world. Intellectually I know there is so much. But emotionally it’s getting harder to believe this. I increasingly feel more impotent, discouraged, and disdainful with humanity and its actions. Not just what I read in various news outlets, but what I observe around me every time I leave the house. My sense of humor is failing me. I’ve noticed in recent months that I don’t laugh my big, open-mouthed laugh any more. This is stupid, too, ‘cause losing one’s sense of humor only makes matters worse. I’m not sure how to maintain strength, hope, and humor when all of the things that give me hope and joy (tolerance, kindness, intelligence, collectivism, excellence and the magnificent natural world) seem to be diminishing. I write this today in the hope that it will serve as a catharsis. In the hope that I’m not alone in my thinking.

So, here is the litany of global events that have happened in the last two years that, in my opinion, reflect societal values and are consequently undermining my belief that this world is fundamentally a righteous place:

Syria, with the aid of Russia, prompts a mass migration of immigrants to the EU, which in turn emboldens racist, xenophobic, & nationalistic ideology throughout Europe, threatening the basis and formation of the European Union.

England & Wales, as a result of a misinformation campaign (Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, Nigel Farage) withdraws from the European Union and takes Scotland and Ireland with it.

With the aid of the Electoral College, gerrymandering, voter suppression, and Russian interference, Donald Trump takes the USA White House.

Emmanuel Macron narrowly beats the right-wing Front National (since ‘rebranded’ and going stronger than ever in time for the European Elections in a couple of weeks, aided by the Yellow Vest movement).

Jair Bolsonaro is elected in Brazil and vows to ‘open up’ more of the Amazon to industrial interests.

A fascist right-wing party is elected to lead Italy. With Viktor Orban of Hungary, they call for leaders to be elected in the upcoming EU elections who will reduce immigration (wolf whistle for ideology that defies EU principles).

Germany has representatives in their parliament from the far right for the first time since the Third Reich.

Spain has representatives in their parliament from the far right for the first time since Franco.

Sweden narrowly maintains a Socialist government, as does the Netherlands, in relatively recent elections.

There are mass shootings in the USA almost weekly. There is encouragement to shoot immigrants by Trump. Immigrants looking for shelter stateside are separated from their families, caged, and “lost.” The meat and water that the populace eats and drinks are contaminated due to decreased FDA and EPA protections, as well as the loosening of controls on industrial practices. The American administration is attempting a coup in Venezuela, and alienating democratic countries that the USA has had global alliances with for a hundred years.

Public education around the world is under siege. Teachers work for noble reasons or they don’t know what else to do. Students and their parents increasingly value education as a means to get into a ‘good’ university in order to get a ‘good job,’ in order to earn a lot of money, rather than for learning in-and-of-itself. Arts and humanities are being cut throughout the world, even as they define civilizations.

The wealthy elude taxes that keep infrastructure present for everyone. Multi national corporations elude taxes. The poor resent taxes. Income inequality grows more disparate, and this in turn affects our collective gene pool (subsequent lifestyle habits, healthcare resources, educational opportunities, etc.).

And climate calamity is on the horizon.

What is the global response? It’s open season on wolves and bears – necessary creatures for healthy ecosystems. Trophy hunting laws and endangered animal protections are eased. The hyper rich want their wildlife pets to signify status. The Chinese still think rhino horns are medicinal. Poaching is rampant. Nature reserves are under attack. Japan has re-introduced commercial whaling. The Faroe Islands continue to have an annual ‘ceremonial’ whale slaughter. The Arctic melts but short-sighted people just want jobs on oilrigs and fishing tankers. Habitat destruction and deforestation are destroying animals and insects essential to life itself, as well as plants that make medicines that keep humans living longer than ever before.

Industrial and corporate interests dominate governments and cultures. Governments throughout the world continue to subsidize the fossil fuel industries, which in turn continue to spend millions of dollars each year to lobby against clean energy and to keep consumers addicted to their goods. Pollution is literally choking humanity, making our children sick, and killing our natural protections against this.

Today, despite the rest of Europe – France, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands – fighting for 95% reduction of emissions by 2050, Italy, Hungary, Poland, and Germany rejected the motion. Reducing pollution and promoting sustainability is not in the interests of the powers that control many countries and their societies. And without governmental laws to MAKE people change their habits, there will be no real change.

And it’s not histrionic to say that if this doesn’t change, it means that we humans will then die after much suffering. We will face water scarcity, food shortage, illness, and war over resources…droughts, storms, fires, earthquakes will render populations homeless…animals, insects, and natural landscapes will be eliminated. But the planet will live on. Yes, we humans will take many of the current animal and natural species with us to our extinction, but eventually there will be new ones, and new forests, and new life. But it won’t include our children or us. Certainly not our children’s children.

What do we do? We continue to consume more than we need and to waste too much. We continue to have a lot of children. To eat a lot of meat that requires a great deal of land to harvest (not to mention what happens to the poor animals). To order things online that are shipped across the world because they’re ‘cheaper’. To buy disposable clothes, toys, plastic, goods of all kinds because we simply want them, they’re cheap, we don’t care what’s happening to the earth or to others, and because the measure of ‘success’ is material. We continue to drive huge, petrol/diesel guzzling cars. And fast, despite signs asking us to slow down ’cause speed effects emissions. We fly more than ever before in human history ‘cause we can. Finally, led by anger and fear stoked in mainstream media, we vote with our manufactured feelings rather than our reason. We vote for our own individual interests. Or we don’t vote at all.

This diatribe has, indeed, worked as a catharsis.

Even as I withdraw more these days and my humor is limited, I know that hope is not lost. The fight is not foregone. Feelings have not completely overridden reason. There are righteous folks fighting for all of us every day. Yes, Putin and his ilk are ruthlessly greedy for domination. Political leaders and would-be political leaders will exploit the anger and ignorance of the masses to their own end, creating backwards, unproductive societies for a generation or two. Most people will avoid their taxes unless they’re punished. Humans won’t want to reduce their creature comforts or to look directly into the face of their destructive habits. And humans without material goods will continue to want them. I don’t have any real power to affect the world on a macro level (if only – boy would I be good at being Queen of the world! Obviously modest).

What I CAN do is to focus my energies personally and politically:

  • Personal life appreciated and a moderate lifestyle maintained – mostly ‘tick,’ though this can always be improved upon.
  • A rewarding profession that helps the world in some way – mostly ‘tick.’
  • Living according to my values – exalting beauty, excellence, intelligence; modeling curiosity, kindness, and tolerance; cherishing socialism, liberalism, and conservation – not quite a tick because I’ve been wallowing in anger and resentment towards humanity in general for awhile – but I am working on it.
  • Voting for candidates who I believe will address at least a portion of the aforementioned injustices – tick.
  • Supporting causes and action that will fight for conservation of the natural world (as well as humanity in general) – tick.