Sorry, but today I am going to rant a bit. After all, I am not French for nothing, right?
So here it is: I know I shouldn’t be scared, that life goes on, and so on, and so forth, but I can’t help it, I am scared. Worse: I feel like a sitting duck.
I walk or run all the time. I take the Tube, the bus and the train. My kids do too. I used to feel reasonably safe in London, but not any more. In fact, I feel like an easy target. I have read everywhere that terrorism remains a negligible risk, that I am more likely to be struck by lightning than to be the victim of a terrorist attack, and that we are probably just more aware of terrorism, which is why we feel the hurt and the pain more. But still, I am scared. Truth be told, the recent attacks in the UK and in France haven’t helped. As for what just happened in Las Vegas, I don’t think that I have fully processed it yet. It’s just too much.
Instead of explaining to me about probabilities and other rational arguments, hear this: on 7th of July 2005 I was on the tube. I was just coming back from maternity leave. I had to be evacuated. I was lucky: I wasn’t on the train that was bombed, but it was a close call. What do probabilities mean when you are in the middle of an attack? I’ll tell you at once: it means nothing. I just felt lucky to be alive and see my baby at the end of the day.
How can I do something about things that I can’t control? I really don’t know, and it is frustrating to feel so powerless. Look at what happened in Marseille a few days ago: two bright young women, one aspiring nurse and one aspiring physician were stabbed by a deranged extremist who had never achieved anything. Had they survived, they could have saved many lives, have families, taught aspiring nurses and doctors, but they won’t, because their lives have been cut short by a brutal bully who probably thought that killing innocent women was fair game, or maybe even a duty. I think I am going to feel sick.
As for the lovely declarations of our politicians about the fact that we will stay strong, that it’s business as usual and that we will defeat the terrorists, well, I don’t buy it any more. You see, after a while and after such an increase of terror attacks, something needs to be done, and I don’t see it happening. Words don’t mean anything if they are not meant or followed by actions. Don’t get me wrong: I am all for solidarity and helping each others, but let’s face it: hashtag solidarity doesn’t achieve much, and right now it certainly doesn’t make me feel any safer.
The official advice, in the UK and in case of an attack, is to run, hide and tell. Does it make me feel in control? Absolutely not. Sorry to be blunt.
I am no politician, but it feels like France and the UK are losing the war on terror. I really wonder what I could do to feel safer. If you have any idea, please tell me.