Diary of a Plague Year

Quarantine is a spiritual athletic achievement, a kind of self-crucifixion — a sacrifice in the name of a new cult. Strangely affirmative, the long haulers, the perma-quarantiners are exceeding physical death. They are self-mummifying monks. The choice to remain quarantined is the choice to make a virtue out of depression and passivity. The impossibility of human life is actually made visible through the quarantine, which is a protest against having to try. American life has become a bizarre version of Emerson’s dictum that ‘imitation is suicide’. In Pandamerica, individuality is suicide.

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