“Not commemorating the Covid-19 pandemic is tantamount to trivializing it”

Tkings years after the first measures which marked the entry into the crisis of the Covid-19 epidemic, France has still not planned a day of commemoration for the victims of the pandemic. And, more broadly, there is no day dedicated to those who, during these three years, gave everything, sometimes at the cost of their health, even their life, to fight against the virus and allow the rest to the company to continue to operate. This silence is problematic. Because the work of memory is not only a symbolic act, it is essential for our society.

It is a question, first of all, of remembering what happened in order to learn from it. Unlike other countries, France has not undertaken in-depth feedback on the management of this crisis, so as not to question the highest authorities of the State. The result is a story that continues to highlight the role of the state in managing the crisis, without questioning its validity or its effects. This story makes the role of many other actors invisible, starting with health professionals, so-called essential professions, but also ociations, local authorities… However, to prepare for the crises to come, it is necessary to learn all the lessons of the one we have just gone through on the scale of society as a whole, and not just of the State.

A commemoration is a way of staging the way in which individuals and groups were able to show initiative in a moment of major tension and establish new forms of cooperation, without necessarily waiting for the State to commit or don’t organize the response.

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It is also a reminder that this crisis is not over yet, at least not for everyone. If we have learned to live with the virus, if our hospital services are no longer overwhelmed, if the main measures taken during the pandemic are part of the past, the fact remains that forms of despair, even social suffering, which do not only concern bereaved families.

Recognize the value of effort

This crisis has left deep marks, it has caused deaths but also increased inequalities, it has sacrificed students, professionals and the sick, it has sometimes left a bitter aftertaste for all those who, applauded every evening at the spring 2020, then found themselves thrown back into anonymity and more difficult working conditions than before. While this crisis has fueled incredible outpourings of solidarity throughout society, it has also claimed victims, and not just related to the virus. To commemorate the pandemic is also to recognize that its effects are not all behind us and that we are still living with this crisis and with its delayed effects.

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