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Summer time is a traditional travel time. Many of us became so much accustomed to it, that we do not even imagine how we can do without travel. Or rather, we did not imagine! As the Coronavirus pandemic unexpectedly reminded us of the “features” of forced home stay, when even walking your beloved dog was strictly limited to a hundred-meter radius. And a regular trip to the Cote d’Azur instantly became a cherished, but a utopian idea.

Airplanes suddenly stopped flying. Borders between the countries closed. And my memory unwillingly revived the image of a snow-covered empty borderline box with a lowered barrier. The passage is prohibited and there is no one to talk to.

But if you dive into literature, you remind yourselves that a ban is normal, but not permissiveness. Our fellows were always forbidden a lot of things, but they never were restricted in shaking hands, sitting next to each other or hugging a girl. I do not even mention kissing through a mask! Due to such unusually personal prohibitions, many have the impression that their confidence is completely broken. And they are right. Fear is a real state of mind.

The French writer Xavier de Maistre, who became Major General of the Russian Imperial Army, Xaviery Xaverievich Mestre, has a wonderful story with a title that suits us today: “Voyage Around My Room”. The fearless warrior wrote it in 1797 while staying arrested in Turin for participating in a duel. The book was very popular and was published in Russian in 1802. Being already a retired Russian general, he published, as it were, the second part of the story in 1825 under the title: “Night Voyage Around My Room”.

In both volumes, Xaviery Xaverievich pointedly expounds a humane and gentle philosophy of life that is suitable for us today.

Well, who is ready to travel around our rooms?

Victor Loupan

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