When the news began spreading on Sunday that the French luxury firm LVMH was converting its entire perfume production to the manufacture of disinfectant gel, the details of the matter may have been uncertain, but one thing was clear: It was a moment that would go down in history for the parent company of Dior and other legendary brands.
A pandemic sharpens perceptions, and the memory functions even more precisely. Things happen so quickly, our heads spin. We can’t take it all in, and much is registered with sheer astonishment. You quickly notice who among your friends gets in touch and who disappears, who lets their imagination get the better of them and who gets caught up in their routines. The Italians surely won’t forget the plane that landed full of medical personnel and relief supplies from China — or the fact that no such planes arrived from Frankfurt, Paris or Brussels. Indeed, Europe has been the greatest disappointment in this crisis so far.