Vitals: The New HBO Docuseries


Vitals, the three-episode HBO miniseries, is a plea against indifference. No more no less. It is inevitable to see Vitalswithout thinking of the Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel. Seriously. It is impossible not to remember Wiesel when you see people on the street who do not comply with the regulations to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, every time you come across someone who does not want to wear a mask in public places or with people who make political allegations of one and another sign of completely forgetting about the virus victims and their families. 

I am referring to remembering the 61,386 deaths from Covid-19 in Spain (as of today), 2,317,379 deaths worldwide. On February 5, 2021, 584 human beings died in Spain as a result of the Coronavirus. The. Week. Pass. On February 4, 432 were killed. 565 on February 3. 724 on February 2. Human beings who were children, parents, grandparents, uncles, nephews, grandchildren, friends, colleagues … We live, I think, in times of indifference and anything that can bring Society out of indifference is good. And that’s why the documentary miniseriesVitals is important. Jesus. Eduard. Cease. Silvia. Isa. And Vanessa. And Matilde. And Josefa. Also their families. And Josep, of course, Josep. Of course. And Juan. And Jesus and his wild eyes. We need to know their stories. They are not more, nor are they less than others, they are just a wake-up call to indifference.

But back to Elie Wiesel. Wiesel, an Auschwitz survivor, writer and journalist who received the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize, dedicated his life not only to recounting the horrors of the Holocaust and ensuring they were not forgotten but also to fighting indifference to any tragedy that befell the human being. That is why his message and his work are so relevant. Wiesel gave a lecture on April 12, 1999, that sums up exactly what the 3-hour documentary Vitals tells us. “What is indifference? Etymologically, the word means” without a difference. “A strange and unnatural state in which the lines between light and dark, twilight and dawn, crime and punishment, cruelty blur and compassion, good and evil “,

“Is it possible to see indifference as a virtue? Is it sometimes necessary to practice it simply to maintain sanity, live normally, enjoy a good meal and a glass of wine, since the world around us experiences heartbreaking upheavals? Of course, indifference can be tempting, more than that, seductive. It is much easier to look away from the victims. 

What we hear from the protagonists of Vitals must lead to the opposite of indifference. We cannot feel indifferent when those responsible for cleaning and leaving ready the Covid-19 unit of the Hospital Universitari Parc Taulí de Sabadell recognize in their informal talk between ballets and PPE of doubtful effectiveness “I am of an age … I am scared” or “I am afraid to take it and stick it to my parents. ” Nor should he give us / let us / make us feel the same way that Naomí tells a patient that we have to “kick the virus” and that this patient says, “I think I’m going today.”

The miniseries is full of important little details. “Is it normal for them to be so scared?” Silvia asks at one point, although she knows the answer. “Fear of the hospital, separated from the family, without fully knowing what is going to happen to you, surrounded by ghosts,” replied a nurse who could have retired at the beginning of the pandemic but asked to continue in her position. “If we already eat our heads …”, adds Sílvia.

We said goodbye to Josefa in the living room of her daughter and her son-in-law, with their grandchildren sitting on the floor. “Life has a beginning and has an end,” says the father. “If things do not go well in the end, we will have to accept it. He has had a good life. He has seen you grow,” he adds. 

Then we see the nurses in whose life we ​​have sneaked into full photosynthesis at the doors of the hospital. Inside, in the hospital, Dr. Mayer says: “I think this man is not going to get out of this.” “This noise drives me crazy,” says Juan when his wife arrives …

“To see if you have to live it,” says Juan’s wife. And this is what the documentary means.


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