Articles with tag:


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At the epicenter of the pandemic / Louisiana

We are in the eye of a perfect storm. The new hotspot of the pandemic is down here in Louisiana, and for weeks the spotlight of America has been focused on us. We are the testing grounds of the disaster that threatens to overtake the entire South.   New Orleans is the epicenter. Here the mortality rate comes close to that of New York City and hospitals are overwhelmed. The contagion started at the Mardi Gras parades that attracted 1.5 million visitors in February. From there, it made its way northbound all the way to Shreveport, the city where I live.   Few people had heard of Shreveport, until it jumped to national headlines as the test case the US was waiting for. Shreveport is neither a touristic destination nor a hidden gem. It had its moment of glory at the end of the 19th century as a port on the Red River and now is the capital of a small rural region.   Its main attractions are the big casinos along the river. People come here for shopping, college classes, and medical appointments. Other than that, it is an anywhere spot in the myriad of small towns and villages that compose the heartland of America.    The failure of the richest country in the...

Beyond the rethoric / The Hidden Face of the Pandemic

Many a journalist and intellectual has recently ventured to describe, often in great detail, the scenario we’ll be faced with after the pandemic. Inevitably, these analyses are subject to two kinds of limitations. First: the scale of this crisis doesn’t allow the necessary distance one would need in order to reasonably imagine the outcomes. Second, and more importantly, such outcomes depend largely upon the critical understanding of the situation that we are capable, collectively, of formulating. This is what should keep us busy and what we should worry about. Because the feeling is that the emergency is legitimizing a dangerous narrative: one that implies that whoever tries simply to challenge or even problematize such a narrative must be an enemy of public health, shunning a “national unity” that is as sickening as it is fake, and to which we are now all allegedly called.   In other words, either one buys the #istayhome rhetoric wholesale (the national anthem from the balconies, the rainbows at the windows and the daily governmental decree—a rhetoric legitimized on television and social media, and in a more or less sickening fashion, by singers, TV and sports personalities...