“No more telecommuting for today. There are 32 minutes left before 7 p.m., I suggest you take a walk down the street. These are the kind of Kafkaesque phrases I never imagined speaking in front of my children. Over the past year, our family geography has shrunk dramatically. Assigned to residence, we made unexpected savings on the shoe budget. For the rest…
From curfews to derogatory certificates, from forbidden forests to authorized perimeters, this deadly pandemic will have seized our relationship with space like never before. Another educational challenge for parents of the 21st century, suddenly confronted with a paradox that they did not see coming. Because what is being a parent if not preparing your children to take the tangent? One day, they cross the street alone. Two days later, they venture to the bakery. And then without warning, they settle in another city, another country, to forge a destiny.
→ INVESTIGATION. Reconfinement, the puzzle for families
Educate – from Latin ex-ducere, to guide, to lead out of – denotes nothing other than this long process of exteriorization, through the trust of family ties. When there is no more outside, or so limited that it becomes derisory, what to do? You will tell me: this world was walking on its head, it was becoming imperative to slow down, to rediscover the virtues “of the local”. Perhaps. Before the crisis, some people jumped on a plane at the slightest pretext, a binge weekend or a shopping spree; it no longer made sense.
Until further notice, the erratic waltz of sanitary measures seems to have got the better of our unreasonable use of the world. We have just the disheveled heroes of the Vendée Globe or the star astronaut Thomas Pesquet to nourish our dreams of elsewhere. The boldest rely on the spells of literature to escape their room, between two visios. But all the same. Are we measuring the anthropological upheaval induced by this prolonged sedentary lifestyle? We are cut out for wide horizons. It’s a certainty.
Far be it from me to blame our leaders; they are doing what they can, like all of us, in the face of a devastating situation. In the face of adversity, everyone must do their part. Just as it would be unfair to blame these limitations on the pandemic alone. For decades, the exploration perimeter of young people has been inexorably shrinking, and this poor pangolin can not help it.
In 2007, a British doctor mapped the movements of children within a family in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, over four generations: at eight, little Edward goes alone 300 meters from home while in 1979, his mother used to use the swimming pool 800 meters away. At the same age, in 1950, his grandfather would go more than a kilometer and a half away to explore the forest. Far from the 10 km traveled in 1926 by his great-grandfather to go fishing!
That this time seems unreal. Strange time when screens connect us to the planet but where our carnal link to landscapes, to nature, to the intoxication of the roads is lost. A link that once again becomes urgent to live. And to transmit.