Lyon, the plague and the architecture of quarantine

15th day of quarantine in Wuhan and 8th day of self-imposed isolation here in Lyon. For me it is a public safety issue, but who would want to approach anyway?

I am used to be lost in parallel universes but this time the landing is hard. My apartment feels like a buffer zone between the stressful reality of friends in China and the daily life outside.

This morning I got out at dawn to finally get some air. I am still a potential disease carrier so trying to avoid people. Amazing to see how it changed the way I walk the city, now keeping distance and looking for empty alleys.

During these days it occurred to me that epidemic is actually one of the main components of Lyon modern culture and architecture. The protection of Notre Dame the Fourviere against the plague gave Lyon its most prominent church and a globally renowned Light Festival, that originates in a votive tradition of lightning candles for plague protection.

This morning I walked to Rue de la Quarantaine, one of the oldest street in Lyon. I found the remains of the ancient quarantine hospital (3rd pic). That is not unique. Features from past epidemics could actually be found in any city. The very function of city is zoning. I wonder what wuhan will keep from that one.

This walk made me also think how backwards our health systems are. Do viruses care about national agenda? Hiding behind city walls won’t help to make the environment less poisonous. Health is global, from smallest organisms to largest organisations and we have so much to rebuild.

#wuhan #quarantine #lyon #health #globalhealth #morningwalk #environment #ncov2019 #coronavirus @ Lyon, France

This text was originally published in facebook-page.

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