Samstag, 27. November 2021

Collective memory in times of Covid vaccinations

These following thoughts are not about my art, but about what is going on in my society right now, the opression and withdrawal that comes with Covid vaccination and the fear and the resistance against it, wich seems to become more and more severe each day.

Although I know that this fear and scepticism is badly instructed and misused for political purposes, I do have to think what might have caused this fear around Covid vaccination in the first place. 

As I talked in summer to a neighbor at my mother's house who is around ten years older than myself, we  both reassured us that we had reiceved the shots in order to be free again and safe from catching a severe Covid illness. But as we talked along, the memories of the Contergan scandal, which shocked the west-german society in 1961/62, rose. We recalled how people at first trusted the government's reassurance that the medicine was safe to take, also for pregnant women. We know the result: Many babies were born with their arms and legs not being formed out properly. I wasn't born yet when this all happenend. But even in the 70ies and 80ies Contergan was around as a threatening term in my family and in many conversations. It was there and then that people in Germany lost the trust in reassurances, that a new drug would be safe to take.

I am pretty sure that this still wafts through the collective memory as it shook people's trust fundamentally. The way I see this, it is not enough to put pressure on people and shut them off, in order to change their minds. The fact that the Covid vaccine was released on an emergency bases without proper run throughs does not help to dissipate the exisiting doubts and mistrust. 

Something is lost and it is and will be hard and deep work to regain it.