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Arnoldo Kraus, fighting a tiny enemy


With fear, anguish and unease on the surface, death prowling the streets, the loneliness of the confinement that the lethal covid-19 has forced and the feeling of “living the same day every day”, the writer and physician Arnoldo Kraus (1951) began to write a diary on February 19 about “the virus that stripped us.”

My pandemic log (Debate), published in electronic format with a foreword by the scientist Antonio Lazcano, the product of several re-readings by key authors and his commitment to ideas, is the result of the narrator’s psychic struggle against “that tiny and implacable enemy.”

For the professor at the UNAM Faculty of Medicine, the new coronavirus is “a provocation against Humanity, a philosophical challenge” that forces us to rethink the paths of life, he comments to Excelsior in interview.

The book is the sum of many daily reflections, some medical, others political, sociological, philosophical and even poetic. The central issue is our relationship with this virus, whose existence in nature was known, but it was not known how deadly it could be for humans.

And I say that it has undressed us, because we face an unknown infectious agent that is still very much alive a year after its appearance, infecting hundreds of thousands of people and claiming thousands of lives around the world. Of the 203 countries that make up the United Nations (UN), it is present in 198 ”, he says.

The author of texts like Remember the departed, say goodbye, say goodbye Y The infinite abode. Understand life, think death concludes that “we do not have enough weapons to deal with the virus, with its power to make people sick, to kill, to devastate the economy and to undress politicians.

Of course, I do not blame governments for the Covid-19 emergency, but I do blame the way they have handled this problem. States have not fulfilled their obligation to protect the health of citizens. Many of the dead were healthy people; At first it was said that they were old and with some disease, but no, the poor have been the most affected. People disapprove of the way they have dealt with the virus, “he says.

The member of the College of Bioethics admits that the health emergency made him question his role as a doctor. “When there are pandemics, you think about how much medicine has progressed and what is missing. Medical science has made wonderful discoveries at the molecular level and has created unthinkable devices, which 50 years ago would be considered science fiction, but even then we have not been able to stop this virus.

For this reason, he adds, he feels the need to bet on ideas. “I am a great admirer of science, but ideas are also knowledge and culture. The human being is an entity of ideas that creates knowledge. If not, we would continue to bury ourselves.

The world is sick, facing various pandemics. We see it in the extreme poverty of several countries, in the injustices, in the lack of freedom. When I talk about ideas, I would like to give them the last name freedom, justice, equity, to achieve a better life condition ”, he indicates.


Kraus stopped his My pandemic log on June 11. “But it lacks an end, I don’t finish it, I stop. I decided to send it to the publisher so as not to repeat myself. The virus is still alive and increasingly threatening. Corpses continue to pile up, infections do not cease, new outbreaks appear in countries where infections had decreased and the world waits hopefully for the announcement of effective drugs and vaccines. I’m not sure if we will get out of this pandemic as humanity well. “

He confesses that, “even though I am a skeptical person, the first months I was hopeful, because we read that the pollution had decreased, that the wild animals returned to the areas from which they had left, that the fish repopulated the channels from Venice.

But those ideas have been on the wane. Now we are returning to reality, trying to combine health with the economy, an inseparable pairing that not all countries can sustain. If there is one thing for sure, it is that we are losing the battle against the virus. I thought that the end of the year would be less bad, but no, I was wrong, “he says.

Who has published, with illustrations by the plastic artist Vicente Rojo, the series Pencil apology, Apology for the book, Apology of things, Apology for dust Y Apology of the paper –The sixth installment is already ready, Apology for the abode– highlights that another misfortune of the pandemic is that it has not allowed to die with dignity or to mourn.

We are talking all the time about figures and figures, this makes us sick but they are necessary. However, the numbers are cold, bleak, they do not have names or stories behind. The human being is unique and life as he lived it is irreplaceable. With sudden deaths, there is no way to start or end the duel. There is a wound and a hole in people, a great anger because their loved one died alone ”.

The essayist says that he is left with several reflections: the unemployed, the new poor, the young without a future, the disappearance of the traditional school, the children without socializing, the growth of family violence.

Arnoldo Kraus wonders if humanity will change, if politicians will change their paths or if they will suffer from emotional or depressive syndromes. “Today it is not possible to answer. The end point may never be reached. That is why I will write a second blog, to analyze all of 2020, this fateful year ”.

He says that he is preparing a new book, which will bring together the short texts about humanity that he has published on his blog Look at the days.