If you ask me, I have noticed that the British did not celebrate the first anniversary of Brexit! They apparently thought more about the first anniversary of the Coronavirus. COVID-19, as it were, left everything that came before it in the distant past. What seemed important to us just a year ago, looks like something faraway today. So much faraway, that it is hard to believe that it could even touch anyone. Why must Brexit touch people shying away from each other with masks on their faces?
Absolutely unchanged, shaggy like a year ago, Boris Johnson has succumbed to the virus and got sick, but somehow imperceptibly, although he is not very young. And so was his friend Donald Trump! If you listen to the BBC for a couple of minutes, you will discover that the disease kills almost everyone. And in general, it is very dangerous. Well, here I sit, writing and trembling. I am also not a young boy!
I involuntarily think of the great V. S. Naipaul. He had written so many brilliant smart books that he would probably have written something stunning about Coronavirus-style Brexit or Brexit-style Coronavirus. Call it as you wish! But he passed away in 2018. It’s a pity. I have learned a lot from his books. There are people who have understood everything long ago, but we still cannot finish our thinking.
The truth is: with the Coronavirus, the very recent past has become sharply outdated, soaring ambitions have landed, the depth of thought has become shallow, the agility of movement has been restrained by the invisible bits of prohibitions.
Many Britons perceived Brexit as a form of liberation from the EU. But nobody remembers it now – it is no more relevant. Because one “bond” has been replaced by another.