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The price


The West today is calculating: how much it will be to "restart the economy" and to "return to normality". This "how much" is not in terms of money but in terms of human lives – how many human lives may the state sacrifice? This is normal logics and normal behaviour for market people. Inhuman? Perhaps. But when the West is forced to choose between humanism and pragmatics the West always chooses the last. Our civilization is first pragmatic and only second humanistic and liberal.


But the problem is that today we have no such choice between sacrificing say 1000 lives and sacrificing economy. If we choose to sacrifice we will not return to normality. Our economy will not be the same as it was before. Heraclitus said "No man ever steps in the same river twice". There are many reasons for such inability. The most obvious one is that men cannot behave in the same way when they risk to become seriously (even if not fatally) ill when contacting each other physically. They will try to avoid any physical contacts. Of course many will try "not thinking about". But this works only when the threat imaginable. For real threats this does not work. But this is not even most important reason. Our system of values will change. Today we value above all comfort and ability to do what we want. These are universal terminal Western values. And Western man normally is ready to pay for comfort and such liberty the price of "good, socially desirable behaviour". But will he be ready to pay the same price for his and his relatives' lives? Somebody of course will. But what about "average man"? Will he spend his money for football or bars? For travels? Will he invest so actively when he knows that he will die not some unknown someday, but very quickly, say, after 3 weeks? And how well will he feel psychologically knowing that the price of his entertainment is lives of his compatriots?


These and many other similar considerations show that we cannot return to "normality". What was our "normality" died first in this epidemic. Of course, as many of those who lose close friend, many of us are trying to deny the fact of death. This is normal protective mechanism of our psyche. But the live does not provide us other option than realize what happens. We must think how to live in new situation rather than trying return what was but never will be again.

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