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How COVID Became Our Blindness

by Rui Alves 14 days ago in humanity

From ‘Republic’ by Plato to the democracy of the blind

How COVID Became Our Blindness
Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

From the moment I first read Republic by Plato, I fell in love with allegorical writing. Aside from the Bible, Plato’s paramount chef d’œuvre is the perfect starting point for any writer interested in developing a more metaphorical writing type.

The Allegory of the Cave distinguishes between people who mistake sensory knowledge for the truth and people who really do see the truth.

“He will require to grow accustomed to the sight of the upper world. And first he will see the shadows best, next the reflections of men and other objects in the water, and then the objects themselves; then he will gaze upon the light of the moon and the stars and the spangled heaven; and he will see the sky and the stars by night better than the sun or the light of the sun by day?”― Plato, Republic

In 2020, Plato's allegorical reasoning was still applicable when we think about what was going on in the broader picture regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and, more specifically, in the US Presidential Elections.

“One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” ― Plato, Republic

And this is why this chilling animated video narrated by Andrew Sullivan is probably one of the best things you will see today:

‘Blindness,’ by José Saramago

Talking about dystopian scenarios and how they can correlate to the current reality we live in. We cannot forget Nobel Prize winner José Saramago’s masterpiece Blindness.

Blindness is the story of an unexplained mass epidemic of blindness afflicting nearly everyone in an allegorical city, causing decay in values, warping social standards, and disrupting the world order in a near apocalyptical scenario.

In case you haven't read it, please take the time to so during the current COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Saramago's novel provides enlightenment about many afflictions humankind is facing right now.

COVID-19 has become our 'Blindness'

“I don't think we did go blind, I think we are blind, Blind but seeing, Blind people who can see, but do not see.” ― José Saramago, Blindness

This scenario can easily be transferred to the current COVID-19 crisis. Saramago's understanding of human nature when facing the unknown is dramatically accurate.

As researchers fail to find a cause for the pandemic blindness outbreak and with no treatment available, Authorities forcefully quarantine a group of people, forcing them to a lengthy and traumatic lockdown in an asylum.

This causes widespread panic, and the social order rapidly unravels as the government attempts to contain the apparent contagion and keep order via increasingly repressive and inept measures.

The armed forces are called in to control the riots. However, this only makes things worst, as all sorts of mischief and abuse take place.

Thus we should all beware of what’s under the cloak of our anointed leaders.

“Perhaps only in a world of the blind will things be what they truly are.” ― José Saramago, Blindness


Writer Don McKellar and director Fernando Meirelles adapted Blindness, and the film was released in 2008, starring Julianne Moore as the doctor’s wife and Mark Ruffalo as the doctor.

Allegedly, Saramago originally refused to sell the rights for a film adaptation. Still, the producers could acquire it because the film would be set in an unnamed and unrecognizable city.

Blindness is an excellent case study for anyone trying to raise awareness about any given topic; as we know, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king, right?

“the only thing more terrifying than blindness is being the only one who can see.” ― José Saramago, Blindness

I have walked on the shoulders of giants while writing this piece, as Plato and Saramago masterpieces will still be read long after my ramblings have faded into oblivion.

Nevertheless, even if only for a brief moment in time, my thoughts grasp your attention, finding their way into your heart. This will be a meaningful milestone on my path to raising awareness about the forthcoming elections' paramount importance to all our lives as world citizens.

Democracy is not the law of the majority but the protection of the minority. — Albert Camus


Thanks for reading this article. Please consider supporting our community of creators by becoming a Vocal+ Member. Feel free to come back at any time and pick up another thread from my Vocal book of content by clicking here. Small tips and big hearts are highly appreciated. Till next time, cheers. - Rui

Rui Alves
Rui Alves
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Rui Alves

I write to find the surrogate writer in me.

Rui is a graduate of the University of Porto, teacher, and life-coach.

He is also a partner of Rock n’Heavy and the founder of ZENite.

See all posts by Rui Alves

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