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  • Writer's pictureNikko Norte

Delusions and false miracles …

End of April 2021. Snow is coming down hard as I take the exit Brenner-Nord to drive into Italy via the N182. From the corner of my eye, I notice Heidi raise an eyebrow, but I know she knows I rather make the coffee I am about to make in the snow along a back road than on a de-iced parking along the highway.

Police officers swarm the end of the exit. One of them gestures us in a direction in which we have no business. Next to him, I bring our car to a halt, lower my window, and am being snarled at in a way I will not likely accept. Heidi puts a hand on my leg. She is right, and I wonder whether time has turned me mellow or wise. Wise, I decide. With only two officers confronting me, I would have had my go. Now, I count … I close my window and drive in the indicated direction.

Through the carpet of falling snow, the contours of a sea container make themselves visible. Slowly, we drive on until two police officers step out of the container from behind a piece of cloth that covers a hole in the side of it, one officer blond, the other with jet black hair. The annoyance my confrontation with the constabulary just awakened in me gives way to cheerfulness. The two officers in the snow stand even shorter than I do, each weighing at least forty pounds more than I do. Dark blue cargo pants, stretched over mastodontic thighs and bums. Neither of both wears an FFP2 mask, mandatory in Austria, but instead, they have both covered their mouths and noses with patches of fabric in colorful motifs.

Again, I lower my window. Cagney and Lacey lower their heads. Cagney’s eyes are cold and belligerent. On Lacey’s face, a layer of powder draws attention. A layer of powder that makes her appear tanned from a distance. Up close, it evokes the thought of an old craquelure sensitive painting.

Wohin?’ Cagney asks curtly.

Gerade aus,’ I reply, not at all mellow, certainly not wise.

Test?’ Cagney asks next, and despair overshadows my cheerfulness. Until a year ago, the emotion despair was unknown to me. Meanwhile, waves of it overtake me regularly, leaving me feeling as if I live in the year 1500, aware of the fact that the Earth is not the core of our universe, which makes me a heretic, who best keeps quiet. Confronted with corona related madness, I usually keep quiet, but police uniforms diminish the sanctimoniousness I am able to muster, and … ‘Test?’ Cagney asks again, her eyes a touch more belligerent.

Wonderful. Not willing to eat an ounce of French fries less, two Austrian police officers try to save the Italian population from annihilation by obstructing people to leave Austria who have not, within the previous seventy-two hours, subjected themselves to a test that may or may not demonstrate the presence of particles of the corona virus, dead or alive, in their mouth and/or nose at the moment of testing. Man, that proposition rattles, if only because no honest virologist would advocate the geographical detention of a rapidly mutating virus.

Test?’ Cagney interrupts my thoughts for the third time, rightly hostile now under my stare that is doubtlessly void of respect. Heidi pokes me between my ribs with an elbow, and I answer, ‘Kein Test.’

Zurück nach Innsbruck,’ Cagney barks. Politely, I ask her, ‘Kennst du die Beziehung zwischen corona und Obesi…’ the back of Heidi’s hand hits me at the side of my mouth. Before I can ask what I deserved that for, I notice Lacey’s fake eyelashes flash coquettishly as if I was about to compliment her, the child's brain department unfurnished, the bat, pepper spray, handcuffs, and pistol on the XXL belt around her hips as real as life. ‘What did I deserve …’ ‘Stop acting like a child,’ Heidi interjects. ‘Grant that cop her fun and do as she tells you.’

Cagney takes a picture of our license plate with her phone. Back at my window, she snorts from behind her mask that we should turn somewhere to drive back in the direction of Innsbruck. A picture of our license plate, she adds while waving her phone in front of my face, has been sent to her colleagues. If we don’t report to those colleagues within the next few minutes, we will be punishable by law.

The snow does not help us find our way, and even our TomTom seems lost. Eventually, we come across a row of orange traffic cones and halt. An officer trots toward us. For the third time, I lower my window. I explain the situation, and my new friend grins disarmingly. ‘Die Kolleginnen, huh? Fahren Sie sechs, siebenhundert Meter weiter, dann finden Sie eine Testsstelle.’

From the corner of my eye, I again notice Heidi raise an eyebrow when, after some six hundred meters, I take an exit. ‘No, I won’t have myself tested,’ I answer her unspoken question. ‘A tooth through my lip is all I suffer from. To keep testing healthy people with unreliable tests surely keeps the infection rates up. Don’t feel like contributing to that nonsense.’

‘Good. I already put Nauders in the TomTom. Two hour detour. Bit more honey, maybe, in case we hit a roadblock there, little less vinegar?’

Next to a white container, a note on its door that reads that the people administering corona tests are on lunchbreak, I park. I step into the snow and slide open the side door of our car. Moos the German shepherd jumps out of the car, looks around in surprise – I think – lets herself fall on her back, and rolls through the snow. On autopilot, I go through the movements necessary to brew coffee, and staring at the kettle on our gas stove, waiting for the water in it to boil, I think of the church tower of Alt-Graun, pointing out of the water of the Reschensee. We will pass that church tower while driving into Italy near Nauders. Again, I stand with one foot in the year 1500, the other foot in the present. Religion and coronism. Fear for what does not exist and fear for what does exist but for which no fear is necessary. Religion and coronism alike, I realise, oblige me to let go of my trust in logic and reason.

Da Vinci, circa 1500 AD, described religion as the deception of the masses by people who trade in delusions and false miracles. His description of religion now applies to corona. Delusions, false miracles, the suppression of science and press, book burnings in the form of the banning of information and opinions from social media and the public debate, the threat of excommunication for dissenters, and … Moos presses its snout against my knee. Steam escapes from the spout of the kettle I stare at. My thoughts race on.

Even according to the ten years ago by the WHO slackened definition, the word pandemic is inappropriate in relation to the threat of corona, and governments that really wish to fight the virus ánd its mutations would not act as they do now. A conspiracy then? Man, it would be an idea for a movie script: the Mossad having Israel’s population vaccinated with water. Other than believing in a conspiracy – though I don't underestimate the lobby of those who are now enriching themselves to mass fear – I rather believe there are some people who remember Churchill's words: never let a good crisis go to waste. What I also believe is that a vaccination passport may initially open the gates to a holiday abroad, but it will quickly degenerate into a behavioral passport that closes more gates than it opens; the words passport and freedom not compatible anyway.

Future generations will not know any better. Those alive today do well to have the truths sink in that French fries only lead to false happiness, and that the words health and freedom are compatible indeed. And what if we hád the truth sink in, some fifty years ago, that French fries lead to false happiness? The two chiefs Wiggum at the border with Italy would still have been able to give chase to a drug smuggler fleeing on foot, and corona would have been dismissed as a nasty flu variant.

Truth sinking in ... to sink in ... zinc …

Some ten years from now, the world's zinc supply will be depleted. Without zinc, our evolution will take an interesting turn; the depletion of the world's zinc supply only an example of how humanity tries to prematurely end its existence. With that in mind, it seems logical that certain people grab whichever excuse to get to a new world order soonest. That, however, doesn't change the fact that subjecting the world's population to a gene therapy experiment of which the outcome is unclear – as the word experiment suggests – in order to fight corona is as idiotic as keeping people from taking showers to build up immunity to Legionnaires' Disease.

‘Sure, but Legionnaires' Disease is not contagious!’

Man, corona has been around for over a year now, and I still have to come across someone who has knowingly contracted the virus or knows someone who has.

‘But people do die from corona!’

Undeniably true. But people die from multiple diseases, and as for now, it is unclear how many people will die from the consequences of our corona measures, gene therapy included. If we only subtract the disappeared annual influenza deaths from the number of corona deaths, and if we consider that in most countries the average age of death from corona hardly differs from the usual age of death, then the word pandemic is easily reduced to Pan, the grandson of Zeus, the king of Greek gods, who, by creating mysterious sounds in remote areas, was responsible for fear among the people who passed through those remote areas and was hence responsible for the origin of the word panic.

A vaccination against flu, any form of flu, is a false miracle. If humanity, as we know it today, wants to save itself from a premature end, there is only one solution, consisting of three parts: humanity breaks with its subordination to delusions, it breaks with French fries, and it reproduces less enthusiastically. Not up for discussion …

The water I have absentmindedly poured into a filter has seeped into our Stanley thermos. I screw the cap on the thermos, pack our stove and kettle, and gesture Moos to jump into the car. While we are heading north, Heidi pours coffee into two mugs. From the corner of my eye, I notice her raise an eyebrow, and I realize I hum – out of tune, no doubt – Leonard Cohen’s The Partisan as parts of the song's lyrics come to my mind.

When they poured across the border, I was cautioned to surrender.

This I could not do.

I took my gun and vanished


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