Victoria Jelinek


Covid-19–March 12, 2020

Light-07My morning started with an ex colleague of mine at an international school in Geneva sending me a very long article that was ‘end of days’ in theme, with graphs and statistics, about how Covid-19 was going to kill us all unless governments shut societies down and put people over money. She and I got ‘into it’ ’cause I didn’t take it that seriously. I sent her an article from a prominent sociologist discussing the phenomena of social hysteria historically up to today (it’s compelling!), and she flatly told me I was negligent and irresponsible.

Driving up to work that day, the roads were eerily quiet. It was like a Danny Boyle film. But, work was wonderful: my colleagues were calm and informed, the day was sunny, the school did not want to close due to social pressure, life was good. Again, however, driving back to France, I had a foreboding and stopped by the grocery store and bought ingredients for two meals (and wine!), put some money in my bank account, got some cigarettes. President Macron was set to give an address on Covid-19 that evening. I suspected that he would suspend all educational institutions in France. The Italian experience was becoming alarming.

It was a superb speech, as usual. And it was also the beginning of my realization that this was a serious situation. He did, in fact, close all nurseries, schools and universities “indefinitely.” He urged people not to use the virus as an excuse to distrust or hate “other,” because viruses “do not have a passport or a nationality.” It stunned me (and my husband gave me due credit for predicting this next step, even as I wish that I hadn’t been right).



Covid – 19 March 15, 2020

The Ides of March…

Self InterestJust went to vote. No one taking legal closures and governmental advice seriously…folks were kissing, standing in small, tight-knit groups. The high street pedestrian area was teeming. Two restaurants (of two) in the one km stretch from my home and the voting location open and folks inside eating.

A ski area was open in Morzine and there were lines snaking around the lift station.

Unfortunately, this is exactly what Édouard Philippe said: people are ignoring safety procedures and thus things will get more serious and we’ll end up locked down like Italy! What is wrong with people?!

Went to the local grocery store and saw folks with TWO grocery carts stockpiling. THAT will cause a problem for everyone, but “fuck it! I’m (me, mine, etc.) sorted.”

Now, they’re talking about rationing on the news – not because like the war there was a shortage of food, but, quite simply, because of the mine, mine, mine attitude of people.

This selfish, individualistic, greedy behavior is so stupidly shortsighted and individualistic I could scream. It is, arguably, the source for all the problems in the world today (climate change – overpopulation, habitat destruction, consumer orientation, airplane travel, etc., PM of UK, “prez” of USA, poor public education, evasion of taxes for the welfare of all, etc.).

If I spoke better French, or was a confrontational person, I would have said something to the twats at the voting site, and in the grocery store, “Shame on you!” As it is, I’ll do as the boys sang in “The Book of Mormon” and suppress all the pain of it.