Friday, November 26

Austria: rules or good sense?


On Friday we embarked for Vienna simultaneously with the announcement of the lock down Total from the following Monday and that in principle will last until well into December, and I do not say an exact date because the one that has been announced is wrapped in doubts, like almost everything. With some concern, I called my Viennese friends, who told me that this decision of the federal government did not change anything in the weekend’s work and entertainment plan; however, my mind was unable not to wander the three months, so long and so far away, of our confinement. Faced with my concern about being able to return before closing, my wife reassured me: “This is how I take advantage and learn German.” Our children were invaded by the illusion of weeks of royal anarchy in a Madrid without parents, and vitally distrustful, a sensation unknown in the old imperial capital.

As we land, I read various headlines in the digital version of the Viennese media: ‘The last Confinement’, ‘Confinement for all?’, Or ‘Confinement for the unvaccinated?’. Indeed, it is not about telling any news, providing information to the reader so that, then, his personal judgment is made: no; This is about to adopt a critical position, even if one has agreed to a measure that has been unavoidable for some time. The scenic medium is also viral: does it sound familiar?

Thinking of this rostrum, I asked everyone who was left. The first taxi driver, of Turkish origin, showed the resignation of the emigrant who has experienced worse things; The last, Romanian, was concerned about the credit to pay for his new car, and whether or not he should send his ten-year-old son to school, a decision that the Government has left in the hands of the parents, who do not yet know what they will do. the teachers. The minister of the branch has promised that no exams will be made and that all the matter will be recovered. If I were ours, I would think: “boy, it’s going to save you that you’re not in Spain.”

The businessmen and executives with whom I have worked assured me that everything would remain the same, except going to dinner with friends, at the same time they asked me how long our confinement lasted and if we really did not leave the house.

The restaurants were packed; masks were in short supply because they weren’t required to wear them, except for waiters. The hotel concierge promised them very happily: “A few weeks so that the sick are cured, everyone is vaccinated, we achieve group immunity and thus save winter tourism.”

This climate of understanding was broken when we tried to enter the Volksoper to enjoy the work The Knight of the Rose by Richard Strauss, for which we bought the tickets weeks ago, we had our Covid passport and the negative result in the antigen test that same afternoon, required by the Opera. Faced with the goalkeeper’s refusal to let us pass for not also having a PCR, a requirement introduced hours before and unknown to us and other fans, my wife showed her confusion.

As a doctor who has worked daily with COVID patients since March 2020, he tried to make the person responsible for access to the Volksoper see the absolute lack of scientific evidence and the most complete absurdity of demanding a PCR pending the result, due to lack of time given the urgency of the company’s decision, to guarantee the clinical safety of the public, while ignoring a negative antigenic test that ensures that at least that afternoon you will not infect.

While I negotiated the recovery of the money, the doctor was determined with renewed ardor in her pedagogical work, until she managed to get the imperturbable Viennese to agree with her. However, faced with the dilemma of choosing common sense and letting ourselves pass or the nonsense of complying with an absurd and supervening rule, the magnetism of the rule was stronger. The mechanical application of the norm, understood as due obedience, has always blinded the human consideration of those affected, the circumstances that surround them, the consequences that they unleash and the chaos in which they finally lead.

Does this have something to do with the fact that four out of ten Austrians and Austrians have refused to be vaccinated for reasons of all kinds and conditions, or for no reason, because no! Without distinguishing young from old, left from right and healthy from sick?

They had given us three hours to walk around the magnificent Ring, which anticipated a Christmas without Advent, full of loud demonstrations, without a mask. Finally, we substitute the Opera for the Kunsthistorisches Museum, and Strauss for Titian: his Venetian painting with an insinuating feminine accent enveloped us in colors that lighten the vital grief of a pandemic that is not quite true. post, and in which the equivocal regulations leave us stunned, but not calm.

As I write these lines in the waiting room of the Vienna airport, the dark afternoon and the rain fall on the runways, and the confinement returns for the Austrians.



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