#pandemic journal by our authors: Artur Palyga #3

we asked to all the Fabulamundi’s authors to share stories, videos, comments, pictures of what we are living now in Europe.

Read the journal written by our Polish author Artur Palyga

Panic attacks. When a panic attack comes, I have to walk it off. I go to an empty street in the empty town. Only a few people with dogs are walking across the street, far away of each other. I walk between closed shops, hairdressers, tattoo saloons, bars and between houses that have turned into mini-prisons, in which people are more and more desperately doing what they can trying not to bite each other. TV screens shine. People still have money to pay for. All the strange messages, full of numbers and masked faces, shine through the windows into the street. Only there, only on these glowing screens can you see the enemy who is attacking us. The streets are empty and calm. No piles of bodies. No sign of an enemy. You might think this is a great hacker attack. Fabricated news, scenes shot in television studios, in some hangars, an internet full of fake news. And to make them credible to crowd, they take very few of us and say that very few of us have this ilness and that is the cause that everything an everybody must be closed. In our entire paralyzed town, which has 190,000 inhabitants, they chose several such people. I have the panic attack. It’s just panic attack.

In front of an open grocery store, I met a man who asked me to buy him a packet of coffee and a kilo of sugar. I thought it was still a traditional poor from old times. That’s what I thought: from old times. Because now we have new times and in a moment there will be new people in front of this store who will want that I buy them anything to drink and to eat for them and for their children, and who knows, maybe I will be with them, because the situation develops by leaps and bounds, sudden, sudden leaps and bounds. This is the first lesson an invisible enemy has given us: the violence of change, speed of change. Within a few days, people get used to things they could not imagine. The word “temporarily” helps in survival. You have to survive temporarily. In a while, everything will return to normal. During every war, every great crisis, every disaster it helps to survive. In a week the war will end, at most in a month – they thought always and everywhere. – Somehow you need to survive temporarily. If they knew that the old times will never come back, survival statistics would probably be far less favorable.

Layoffs started. For now, massively in tourism. In the theater, a message: there are no dismissals yet. For now. Temporarily. Persevere.

I have a panic attack. I won’t find a new job anywhere now. I think about children. I feel so sorry for my seven year old that he can’t meet his friends. I am choked by the thought that I may not have enough to buy him something to drink or eat. I have a panic attack. I think that poor and desperate people will appear and that I have large windows that are easy to break. In safe times there was a fashion for very large windows and bright, bright apartments.

In March, everyone had their salaries, but not everyone in April. Those who no longer have a salary, but still have some supplies, and have something to sell, in a month they will be hungry. They will be more and more people without money for life. Theaters will not move until the end of the season. Even if the plague passes and the blockades are lifted, people will be afraid. At least until the end of the season. Everyone thinks that it is temporarily. In the autumn all will be good…

I have a panic attack. I know I shouldn’t. That I have to be cheerful, smile, look good. I have to walk it off.

Those who have savings, who have a long perspective of security, say that this is a time of reflection, reflection on themselves and the world, that it must be properly used for reading, developing, working on their self. Those who feel a choking throat grip, walk from corner to corner, unable to concentrate, unable to assemble correctly and calmly one sentence, are not able to read anything or watch anything. They look at the glowing screen and understand nothing. If they are in their prison with children, they try to keep smile during the day, play games with them, make jokes. They put so much effort into it that at night they are too tired to sleep. The only escape is to remember the old times. Because it all happened a long time ago: these meetings, these trips, travels, performances. Drawers in the head open. You can now take it out, watch it, enjoy it, like priceless specimens of insects solidified in resin thickening into amber.