Love in time of cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez was the first big, well-known book I have read in French. Setting aside the language comprehension efforts (my French wasn’t yet polished😉), the topic itself tortured me and the ending has left me completely puzzled.
Looking at what is going on in the world right now, the novel and its story got a new perspective.
Two months ago, life in Europe was undisturbed. The COVID 19 / coronavirus was a distant news, something that was happening in China and other Asian countries.
A month ago, Italy and France were reporting cases. Suddenly, around the globe the list of countries declaring and registering the effects of this invisible, silent threat grew each day.
Today, Europe became the epicentre of the pandemic. Italy is paying the heaviest death toll.
The simple daily life transformed in a bad movie. Panic took over. Closed borders are again a reality.
The medical systems in the most affected countries are struggling to cope.
As a child born in communism who was confined by borders and limited by dictatorship, I always took great pride in saying #IamEuropean. European Union opened doors for me and for my family and gave freedom a completely new meaning.
As a dedicated European, I would have appreciated to see coordinated efforts to tackle the common enemy within the EU. Italy asked for help. The reactions came too late and the support was limited.
On the positive side Germany showed how solidarity must look like by announcing that will take in French patients infected by the virus. Private companies and simple citizens mobilised and made the point that unity still resides.
I guess is a learning process and conclusions will be drawn and lessons will be learned.
The humans are now grouped in clusters. The dominant ones are being defined by those who take in fully and beyond the recommendations on how to prevent, protect and by those who still deny, ignore all the warnings. In between, I would say, the moderates.
Overnight our daily vocabulary changed. Everyone now talks about viruses, infections, symptoms, self-isolating, hand washing, sanitiser, toilet paper buyers, excessively food stocking (hamstering is now a very popular word).
We seem to forget that in times of hardship compassion, empathy and love towards each other is what makes as strong. Is what will make us prevail.
Being responsible these days does not only mean to actively social distancing yourself, means also buying only what is needed. Means taking time to talk, to pause, to read, to cook, to slow the pace and enjoy the new regained time. And if you are lucky, spend time with your family and friends.
Today technology offers so many options and alternatives. It would be a waste not to take advantage.
All is required to change the course of cloudy days, is willingness to make lemonade out of lemons.
Setting aside the obvious bad parts of the overall situation, now is the best time for reflection. Time for study, time for our thoughts. Time to realise what really matters to us. We have the opportunity to assess, reset and restart.
My dear readers, do not forget about each other. A small act of kindness can brighten a dark day. A smile (even from afar) is infectious and does not harm.
Solidarity is key. Small actions can make big difference and can change the course of the story being written worldwide right now.
Stay home. Go out only when is needed. Wash your hands often. Shop wisely. Donate for medical research and hospitals. Volunteer. Call a friend and check on your parents.
You get the picture 😊
United we stand, divided we fall.
Stay healthy and safe.
Lots of love,
Sharing Simple Words.