🇨🇭 Spiritual Paradoxes in Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland:

The coronavirus is probably the largest and most dangerous pandemic in the last 20 years. Although the virus broke out in Wuhan, it has spread so incredibly fast that within 2 months it has taken hold all over the world. Initially, I think most people underestimated the virus, as it was on the other side of the world and was denied as harmless to younger people. But now we know that not only older people, who are more likely to be at the end of their lives anyway, suffer from it, but also much younger patients.

This long-term underestimation of the virus frightens me, because it shows how ignorant and arrogant most people are. After all, we in the western world have also felt the effects of the pandemic, and these measures have become quite extreme quite quickly. Schools were closed and soon the same thing happened to all shops, restaurants and institutions.

In the end, the Federal Council decided to put the whole of Switzerland in an emergency situation, and as a result we are now almost never allowed to leave the house. These changes have affected all of us relatively radically, because the normal everyday life has suddenly changed a lot, and things that we always take for granted suddenly no longer exist, and I am struck by how much very small things and little things influence our everyday life.

The lack of interpersonal interaction is also painfully palpable and this makes me realize that people are truly social beings and isolation can be very damaging both psychologically and physically. Despite the constant phone calls with friends, I still lack the right physical connection, which makes a friendship so beautiful and fun. The teachings of Seneca and other stoic philosophers come clearly to my mind: The material cannot and should not please a soul, but the true good lies in virtue and in the pure soul. This philosophy of life, which is very easy to apply, has a very general and generous meaning, and yet it fits perfectly into this situation.

Electronic objects, on which we often hang around for hours and are downright addicted to, suddenly lost their value as the most valuable object or symbol of human development. The endless branded clothes of many FGZ students suddenly seem worthless and unimportant. After all, it is the soul and the social, psychological and emotional joy that makes a happy, satisfied and healthy person. The daily routine, as I mentioned before, has taken a very big turn. Most affected are of course the social aspects, and suddenly you miss things that you couldn’t get rid of quickly enough before.

School now seems almost like a relief, a liberation from the incredibly boring daily routine. Only a month ago, you were longing for peace and quiet and a peaceful interruption in the exhausting daily routine, now you only wish for some kind of occupation, even a distraction from all the idleness and the abysmal emptiness of boredom. These spiritual paradoxes, which were formed within a month, prove the basic imperfection of man and our ever-changing desires and desires.

Emilian P.

18 April 2020

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