25 January 2021: Kiss whoever you like

Since Sunday 24th, 10 days after the departure, and on the order of the Commander, the mask has been officially relegated to its full jurisdiction.  Our small territory of 120m by 20m is thus declared free of COVID-19, from bridge A to bridge I. 

If we cannot speak of jubilation — the worrying news from the country reaching us so far — the announcement of a world where the epidemic no longer exists, however big a postage stamp, brings a certain lightness that can be read on the unmasked faces.  However, it is confusing to know that one is deconfined within a confined perimeter, itself situated in the middle of an immense expanse. The confusion does not stop there. One is surprised not to recognise people who have been crossed for 10 days and yet have become familiar.  The spirit, out of aversion to emptiness, had in its own way completed the features of the faces, in a sort of exquisite graphic corpse, a game invented by the Surrealists consisting in extending a drawing from two lines protruding from the fold masking the contribution of the previous player.  The result once the sheet is unfolded is generally surprising.  In other cases, the broad smile hidden by the mask was perfectly guessed from the immutably jovial tone of the conversations.   

The masks are flying away today as we cross the subtropical front, which marks the border of the Southern Ocean and the entry into the roaring forties. It’s hard not to see a symbol in it.

The mask has been officially relegated : It's something to celebrate !
© Laurent Godard
The mask has been officially relegated : It's something to celebrate!  © Frédéric Planchon

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