From external to internal migrations

The Covid-19 pandemic has suddenly halted the movements and journeys that make up our daily lives, the daily migrations from our homes to our workplaces…

It has closed shops and public places: cafes and restaurants, churches and mosques, theatres and cinemas, museums and parks; streets are deserted, cars left in their garages, airports have been closed and planes grounded; it has also interrupted the great migratory movements of our time… To leave your home, you even needed a form or risked getting a ticket.

This unexpected closure, which has affected the entire planet, has had a variety of effects depending on the location and the people involved.

In fact, this confinement has had a negative impact on those who live in cramped spaces or even precarious housing, especially in neighbourhoods with high human density and, a fortiori, those without housing: without the safety valve of professional or leisure outings, the permanent cohabitation of large families confined in narrow apartments has caused aggressiveness, exasperation and even violence to develop between spouses as well as between parents and children.

Those who benefit from larger and less concentrated living quarters have been able to take advantage of this forced immobility to move differently and broaden their horizons by reading, watching films or television shows, reflecting and meditating. For them, it has been a period of leisure and rest, and even of cultural and spiritual development.

Paradoxically, this imposed lockdown was a great opportunity to escape, in spite of ourselves and without our knowledge, from what Pascal calls “all the unhappiness of men, [which] arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber”. In other words, it should have been a great moment of happiness. Obviously, this thought leads us to other considerations about the human condition as well as our personal situation.

Still confined and accompanied by Pascal, we could have practiced interior migrations on the causes of this misfortune, above all, the incurable need for entertainment that puts us out of ourselves: on the contrary, looking inwardly, we could have evolved on the scale and in the depths of our memory augmented by the entire heritage of the history of humanity or we could have broadened our reflections to the whole planet and even the cosmos, combining the network of our relations with our memories, cross-tabulated with the daily news from the planet. We could also have planned for the future to be built and invented, in particular the “period after” that concerns everyone.

Before joining other migrations, external ones, to weave new links, links of solidarity and hospitality, towards new spaces of freedom.