Better Times

La Voz de Galicia – October 9, 2020 →

Cristina PatoIt is difficult to imagine what our city will be like in a year: how many small businesses will remain open, how many bars and restaurants will close, how many academies will survive, how many self-employed people will throw in the towel, how many students, how many bookstores…I ask myself what the impact will be, long term, of the chapter we are living because it is already difficult to imagine a reality where we move without fear of catching the virus, of not having enough to reach the month’s end, of not knowing what will happen tomorrow…

The pandemic put on display many things, among them the «wellbeing» and «quality of life.» It also taught us to see that our system was not as strong as we were told, and that, sadly, we did little to change it. Healthcare, education, culture, economy, in general all the pillars that hold up our society teeter for two reasons: one of them is a virus we cannot yet control and the other is a political class that seems to live in a parallel reality to the notion that, in a democracy, sovereignty belongs to the people.

But these days, transcribing my interviews of my mother recorded during our confinement, reliving her childhood experiences, imagining her life in the deep rural of the 1950s, and understanding the reasons (which are not spoken of) about her own emigration, I began to think in the idea that if these women could forge ahead, so could we. Because, despite current misfortunes, despite the helplessness we feel, our lives are not worse than the ones they lived seventy years ago. These women knew how to find strength in the hope of a better life…what about us?

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