Peace letter to SARS-CoV-2

Dear SARS-CoV-2,

Like other 74 million specimens of homo sapiens in the world as of today, I have been chosen by you as a site for experimentation and discovery. I do not particularly regret it, as I only have mild to inexistent symptoms (this actually depends on the day and on the time of the day). Yet my lifetime partner is struggling to survive at the intensive care CoVID unit of the local hospital, and I am not sure at all I will have the luxury to talk to him again in this life. So, you see, I should be quite angry with you. Yet I understand you are a primitive form of life, only one year old, and this is enough for me to try to engage in a mutual dialogue with you. After all, you yourself are trying to survive on Planet Earth as we Homo have been trying for a couple million years.

According to my calculations, you entered my body around 11 days ago. I knew you had me, no need for tests to be sure about it. You were quite discreet at the beginning, almost shy. Now I am playing with you as the only physical companion in my quarantined life. Nothing risky, to be sure. I am simply trying to understand this alien form of life that lives inside me now. I can feel when you raise your head and try to bite me, as well as when you withdraw. This game can happen several times a day, while I am teaching or while I am at the phone with the hospital, and I am getting used to your clumsy attempts by now.

You play with me like cat and mouse, but I don’t let my guard down. I know you are testing me. You behave like children who provoke only in order to understand how adults will react. Never give kids too many elements to weigh your intentions.

I do not allow you to weigh my resources. I do not allow you to measure all my potentialities for reaction. That would be a strategic mistake. That’s why most of the times I limit myself to raise my eyebrow. This is still sufficient for you to understand that there is no way through, and for me to return to my benevolent smile.

I let you wallow in doubt: “Where am I? How much can I push before she acknowledges my presence? Can I dare enough, or does she have defenses that would destroy me if I attacked directly?”

On my side, I must admit that I ask myself your same questions: “how strong can it become? Does it really have the strength to bring me down to my knees? Is it developed enough to understand that we can let us mutually live without destroying each other? “

I am trying to make it clear to you, the virus, that you don’t need to destroy me, the human, in order to survive. I am up for civil coexistence, without coups, without prevarication. I can live with some coughing, no problem about that. And you? Can you feel me? Are you already self-confident enough to let the Other live? Or, do you rather behave like a child, playing up when uncertain? Like those who cannot understand that one can thrive without destroying the different?

If you think carefully, a positive answer would be no less nonsense than those who say that we are at war. No, you could not survive without me. And no, we are not at war. Homo sapiens has encountered a new viral life form. Period. We do not need to be at war. We need to accept that we do not have the monopoly of life on Earth, neither Homo, nor SARS.

I hope, SARS-CoV-2, I have enough time to live with you to be able to experiment co-existence. I am not afraid. I would be delighted to know that you are not afraid of me, either. After all, you are only one year old. I can help you get acquainted to this world.