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July 1, 2020 / Congau


Sometimes good news is bad news. A glimmer of hope in a sea of turmoil is often a sign of treason and afterwards the feeling of betrayal is worse than never having had a hope.

We thought it was finally over. The enemy had been raging for months, patrolling the streets and making us flee to our homes where we were forced to hide. We had peeked out of the windows but seen only the black shadows gliding past. We had been anxiously cowering in our corners just waiting for freedom to return.

So when the good news came and the sky seemed to be clearing, we thought we could see the horizon. Many of us rushed to the beaches and stood there staring longingly, encouraging each other to look better and confirm what our imagination had thought into existence. Yes, it was indeed on its way, we thought. The light, the liberator was clearly rising above that distant line, its white sails so full of promise.

It wasn’t really a lie. The clouds were indeed getting thinner, black passed through grey and approached the white of a new beginning. The crowds now went wild. In a euphoric outburst they ran into the streets and smashed symbols of oppression, broke into windows of opportunities and relieved houses of unnecessary possessions. The hated uniforms were pushed away, and we thought they were beaten.

That was yesterday. Today we are locked up again. Confined to our cells we are broken and robbed of hope. The police have reentered the streets, the virus has taken a vengeance and now it is unbearable. We might have gotten used to our prisons and adjusted to a life of restrictions, but freedom becomes painful when it disappears. If only we had not seen that moment of respite.

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