In these days of uncertainty and ordeals, I do think the paradigm “United we stand, divided we fall” is firmly convincing.
As an illustration, the solutions impulsed by border-regions decision-makers are tellingly evocative. Baden-Württemberg, through its Minister-President Mr.Kretschmann, followed by two other German Bundesländer (Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate), three Swiss cantons, and Luxembourg, announced its decision to take in seriously affected French patients. Another example is the transfer of sick people from Lombardy to Saxony. The other solutions implemented by authorities, for instance, medicalized fast trains to evacuate infected people from saturated regions to a better location are very impressive as well.
Our societies will get out of this ordeal indelibly marked. On the one hand, the pain and violence we will have experienced in such wide proportions will forever be in our minds. On the other hand, I choose to believe we will be reminded to which level the values of solidarity, resilience, dedication, and sacrifice can be implemented and how careful toward one another we can be when allegedly normal people are being put to the test.
I decide to hope such a challenge will enable people to see beyond the notions of nationality, ethnicity, or social groups. I hope we will be smart enough to eventually emphasize what unites us instead of focusing on our singularities which can be sometimes difficult to match together or our interests which diverge from time to time.
As an epilogue to this brief opinion, I would quote two British nationals, very different, but both significantly inspiring to me.
First Sir John Lennon:
“Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world
You, you may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will live as one”
Then, Sir Winston Churchill:
“We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”
Jules Striffler (text and pictures)
Maury, C., 2020. Coronavirus : En Alsace, Le Tram Ne Passe Plus La Frontière, Les Hélicoptères Si – Le Taurillon. [online] Le Taurillon (Jeunes Européens Strasbourg). Available at: <https://www.taurillon.org/coronavirus-en-alsace-le-tram-ne-passe-plus-la-frontiere-les-helicopteres?lang=fr> [Accessed March 31st, 2020].
Lumet, S. and Enaudeau, J., 2020. Organisation Du Territoire Européen En Temps De Covid-19, Entre Coopération Et Repli – Le Grand Continent. [online] Le Grand Continent. Available at: <https://legrandcontinent.eu/fr/2020/04/01/organisation-du-territoire-europeen-en-temps-de-covid-19-entre-cooperation-et-repli/> [Accessed April 2nd, 2020].
Speech delivered by Winston Churchill to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom on June 4th, 1940
John Lennon, Imagine, 1971, Apple Records