All reports of natural disasters, accidents, catastrophes always talk only about the death toll. Also mentioned are the number of injured or ill, as in the case of a pandemic. The number of survivors is not mentioned. And more importantly, neither is how they lived. And living in a catastrophe can also be catastrophic.
A new regulation has been introduced (by an official state authority? Is the authority in question even relevant? What is the reasoning behind this regulation? Is there any reasoning at all?) that people older than 65 – already, suddenly and discriminatorily, banned from the streets under threat of a heavy fine – are allowed to go to special shops, open only for them on Sunday mornings. But, but – between 4 and 7 in the morning! Between 4 and 7 a.m.
Just like with many other things, we will probably never find out who and based on what data, research, surveys, evidence concluded that this is a good, or even a justified idea. Did a team of people reach this conclusion, and if so – what qualifications did these people have? Were they psychologists, social workers, doctors, sociologists, lawyers, gerontologists, etc.? Or was it just some people sitting around and exchanging family anecdotes (“my parents get up early”) and concluded that anyone over sixty-five was willing to rush to the store before dawn?
Or, which is even worse, were they people who took the President’s example and, neglecting the fact that he, as a fifty-year-old, does not belong to the same age (or economic) category, concluded that if he says that he gets up before dawn, then the whole population is obliged to do so.
Or, even worse, maybe this decision was not made by a team of incompetent people but by just one, also incompetent, man?
Whichever it is, I wanted to point out that it was scientifically proven that some people are early birds and some are night owls. The first group has a natural, biological clock that is set to get up early, while the second is “programmed” to stay up late at night and sleep in in the morning. My parents belonged to the second group. When they were younger, they needed an old-fashioned, analogue alarm clock, which they had to put in a tin plate full of cutlery, to wake them up for work. This technique was so successful that it managed to wake my grandmother’s sister who lived in the next yard over, but not my grandmother who was sleeping in the next room (because – genetics).
Decades of such violent waking up didn’t make them early birds once they became old. My mother retired five years before my father and every morning his alarm clock went off, she used to kiss her retirement decision and go back to sleep with a smile on her face.
Luckily, my parents wouldn’t have to depend on the “state” to prescribe such a cruel shopping regime. But the fact that they would have someone to buy them groceries does nothing to cool my rage on behalf of those who don’t. What kind of a person would manufacture this segregation? How little soul must you have? How heartless do you need to be to put people in such a demeaning position, even if they like getting up early? How spiteful, to even think of this torturous rule, let alone turn it into a law? From four to seven in the morning! 4 to 7 a.m.
Translated by Marijana Simic