Some good perspectives | Editorial of the Secretary-General Klaus Heeger

Dear members, colleagues, friends and partners of CESI,

With the beginning of 2021, many of the hopes we had by the end of last year have, to say the least, been ‘put on hold’.

Infection rates: they continue to grow in many places. New variants of Covid-19: they spread faster. Vaccines production and vaccinations campaigns: they fall behind, at least in Europe.

In these already sinister months of January and February, the current perspective is rather depressing.

But there are good perspectives too.

Firstly, Trump is gone. Probably such good news that many of those depressed may have healed instantly on January 20th. Of course, difficult to find a President older than Biden. And yes, watching the news with Trump in the picture was quite entertaining. But in the end, it became tiring. Simply too much screaming and hatred.

Secondly, restrictive rules (although to understand them just in Europe requires the instant cessation of any other activity) may be loosened. Some day. Maybe. Some say.

We all look forward to this day. To the perspective of the end of the endless shutdowns. Until then, we need indulgence. Indulgence with politicians and with citizens.

But to maintain a sense of the magnitude of the repressions does not do any harm. For moderation purposes. Because politicians may get tempted. No complicated debates, only incidence rates and ruling by decrees. Even no need for vaccines. Because lockdowns work.

Imagine other targets. Greenhouse gas emissions or traffic deaths. To stay in bed helps the environment and avoids car accidents. And no procreation either. A little creepy though. Even if frogs, lizards and toads would breathe fresh air, one could miss the voices of children playing.

Yes. We must follow the rules. But we must be ready to get our freedoms (and data) back. They are normal, not the exception. We should never get used to lockdowns, quarantine, PLFs, travel bans and human contact reduction. And yet we tend to, we may even want more. So we should remain vigilant, consider what is at stake and weigh up the options carefully against one another. As trade unions too.

And finally, we keep the spirit by planning our activities. Together in our CESI family. As we have done in these past days and weeks. Nothing better to heal wounded souls. You see familiar faces on Zoom. You gather around projects, preferably good ones. And you try to deliver.

The perspectives are there.

All the best to all of us for this hopefully better year!