Wednesday, January 20

A (prudent) toast to 2021

If the years were to go to the psychiatrist in 2021, he would sit on the couch to explain that “I’m afraid that people expect too much of me”, because it’s true, and above all we hope to leave behind the

nightmare. The remedy exists and the great logistical challenge is to distribute the doses as quickly and equitably as possible between people and countries. Because for 70% of Spaniards to be vaccinated on December 31st (and achieve what is called herd immunity ”), 128,000 people would have to be vaccinated a day … and for now I don’t see it.

We want economic activity to be reactivated, employment to be relaunched and tourism to recover (from 12% of our GDP it has fallen to 4%) and travel, to open shops, bars, restaurants and hotels that provide a lot of employment and that they are literally asphyxiated. Unlike the financial crisis of 2008, the recovery of which was very slow, it is now expected to be much faster, as the case of China already shows. And we also want to go out to dinner with friends, go to cinemas, theaters, concerts and exhibitions, that grandparents can kiss their grandchildren again and children visit their parents … we have a physical and emotional need to hug each oAlso,, to laugh and of being togeAlso,, knowing that not everything is going to be the same again and that it is surely good that it is so because our fragility has been exposed during this pandemic and Also,efore the “return to normality” -understood as a hectic life that we had before- it doesn’t make sense eiAlso,. The world has said Enough! Many complain about having to wear a mask when what they have is a blindfold. There are changes that we will do well to keep, such as the recovery of the house as a home and dedicating more time to the family; teleworking that has come to stay with its corollaries of fewer trips and “work” meals, as well as a use of time more in line with our convenience. Schedule changes or the same frequent hand hygiene. This pandemic year has improved the quality of the air we breathe and also the transparency of the waters that bathe our beaches, and it would be wise to try to preserve those benefits.

If 2020 has allowed us to continue living in the midst of so much mortality, it is so that we are grateful to life and develop a solidarity as a species that we had

cornered. The virus has erased differences between races, nationalities, religions, or income levels to remind us of the radical equality of human beings in the face of disease and illDeath

death, and the awareness that in this struggle we are all togeAlso,.

Also new in history is the gigantic effort of scientific collaboration across borders that has made it possible to achieve in twelve months vaccines that would normally have taken several years to develop.

The pandemic is a painful experience from which we must learn because if something makes it clear, it is that – surely, one day anoAlso, virus will arrive, just as contagious but perhaps more lethal, that globalization will spread across the four cardinal points just as quickly. That is why I hope that those in charge of all countries and international organizations will take the appropriate measures that allow us to be better prepared when we face a similar situation again … although I am afraid that skepticism is inevitable here.

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