People Have Never Been so Gray

“5 503 and 382 734 – These are statistics, people depicted in numbers.

5503 people have died in the last 18 months, and next to that is a colossal number – 382 734, any of their lives could end at any moment, right now, at this moment. This is a disaster caused by the coronavirus.

In the first days, when the virus was not yet spread in Georgia, I remember how scared we all were, the whole of Georgia was in a panic and somehow we were cheering for the world. Soon, Georgia was also infected with the virus and we all rallied together – we mourned for each other, we felt the pain of our loved ones, which became a part of everyday life, the death of the people who were announced at the briefing every morning at 11 o’clock. We hurt for each other, for complete strangers.

11 people died due to corona this morning. In the last few days, an average of 20 people have died.

What then? Where did this support go, this sympathy. We became incomprehensible creatures. When did we turn into cold-blooded killers?! Instead of taking care of each other, we kill each other with our own hands, as if we do not have enough dead, we add others to the list ourselves. As if the misfortunes upon us weren’t enough, we kill, accept evil and hatred.

Yes, we are this – the patriarchate, the government, the state, the nation and the priest, in the community or beyond the community. We are removing the bricks with our own hands, from what is already collapsing. Maybe it will fall to the end, hatred and enmity will destroy us.

I am very sad today. This city has become so gray, I would walk around the city and cry. How long should this exclusion, this aggression, the gaze of the people, who distrust just because I am not like their icon continue, why do I spend my precious time in this country? For people for whom kindness and love are not essential. For those that believe that a person is the most valuable, cannot stay where they are killed because of a different color, vision, belief or orientation.

The time will come and this hatred will become disgraceful, you will regret that you killed Lekso, that you beat my photographer friend, that you oppressed my queer friends, that you oppressed the weak ones.

One day, you will look around and you will be the only ones left and then? “Then, like those abusers, like the unfortunate Davit Kutaladze, they will have fun with you: first they will provoke you, make you do their dirty work and then they will imprison you.”

Kristine Ergemlidze Photo: Vakho Kareli

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