Tuesday, 28 October 2014

we are a culture, not a costume

As debates rage about the efficacy and ethics of quarantine for the sake of public and private health in this atmosphere of Fearbola, Atlas Obscura presents an interesting short history on the phenomena.
Not forgetting or diminishing the real and immediate suffering of individuals in the so called hot-zones and those without the luxury of protesting their confinement in abstract terms, this is turning out to be a potentially very frightening time of year, in keeping with the season—what with imaginations enervated with notions of zombies on the march and a weird kind of vampirism with a sanguine obsession over certain blood-types as a rescue-cure. The American military personnel helping to construct needed health care facilities will be isolated for at least three weeks in an army hospital in Vicenza—which is not far from the lagoon of Venice, whose islands (a few of them) had served as rather ghastly lazarettoes (way-stations common during times of plague for sailors to wait out the incubation time without endangering the local population, named after the parable of Lazarus) or cordon sanitaires in the not too distant past. What do you think about all this hysteria and working oneself into a frenzy?