We all know they are dangerous. These envelopes, these letters, these surfaces that are exposed to the air and to which any virus with the tiny spicules that we know from the drawings quickly clings to. That is certainly the reason why they have banned the sale of books directly in bookstores (which are closed) and also in supermarkets (so as not to benefit from such unfair competition during this time). So if you bring a snapper home, you might be able to try Schubert’s trout, but never Le Clézio’s goldfish. You have to order this over the internet and wait. Since it’s made of paper, it’s fish that won’t spoil.
For that and not only. Also due to the usually turbulent frequency of national bookstores. Those who walk in Lisbon’s Chiado or downtown Porto didn’t have to leave the sidewalks. So many people flock to this paperwork just to go with bags full of books? Isn’t it a health threat in times of a pandemic?
The bizarre caricatured here has already been commented on by many people, and only in PUBLIC have we had the articles by António Carlos Cortez, Clara Capitão or Nelson Nunes. There is nothing to be heard on this subject from the government, which is always so quick to trigger other little things. The books that were relegated to the location of “non-essential” goods in the latest anti-Covid-19 book have a long sleep ahead of them, on compulsively closed store shelves or covered with canvas and plastic (as if they were pornography) Places where they cannot be bought.
But when books are missing, needles are left over. In fact, the needle has been at the center of anti-pandemic news and propaganda. With a play on words about the orthographic agreement, we became spectators of spectators. People who, with the best and noblest of intentions, continue to put their arms in the vaccination process we had. And the chambers, which have no novelty other than the color or shape of the tissues that move away to allow the needle to penetrate the flesh, capture everything: the moment the needle is tried, the ecstasy of sucking the liquid out of it tiny vial it contains it and then the moment to be stuck in arms of all kinds, fat, thin, flabby, elegant, beautiful, ugly. Needle-drilled, repetitive, but achieved in a symbolic gesture and in a continuous manner.
Was it necessary to have such a parade of stitches to remember the “There, there, there, there, my needle” by Beatriz Costa? It wouldn’t be if something else interesting was filmed. But for want of better, when we talk about Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Moderna (names that adorn the citizens as if they were football players), here comes the savior needle, a massacre for those who have a phobia of such sharp objects and one Longing for dazzle for those who give it other uses. Would it be different if the target of the needles weren’t the arms but the buttocks? Sure, unless the news reports showed red dots on the … sharpest.
But that simpler, more essential act that stems from ancient epidemics and was so highly recommended at the beginning, simply washing your hands? Where is it that the cameras don’t pick it up? Is it because the faucets are ugly? Does the flowing water irritate the viewer? Is it because the hands are less photogenic than the shoulders, especially with needles stuck in them?
Even in the absence of books, such decisions lead to cultural changes. Things that were previously associated with addiction or anxiety, such as needles, syringes, cans, alcohol, masks, allegations, or DGS, are now benign symbols of health. In the Nadel we have replaced vaccination addiction with drug addiction, all the greater since the doses are scarce (where did we hear that?). And the complaint is now benign too. In the old days when a neighbor was doing something illegal, someone would be willing to report it to the deposit guarantee scheme. Only also that the DGS is no longer the sinister political police of the state, but the General Directorate for Health, and the illegal act is no longer a meeting in a cellar for a collective reading of Marx, but a meeting in a cellar for joint beer rounds with cheese, ham and mixed seafood.
All of this gave a book. When someone wrote it. What if there was a place to buy it?