Listening to One Another

La Voz de Galicia – January 29, 2021 →

Cristina PatoThere are 336 days until the close of 2021 and one already looks forward to, at least, the arrival of summer or to that moment this year when the majority of the population will be vaccinated. This week I was trying to estimate when my mother, my sisters, my husband and I would be vaccinated; and suddenly those 336 days became longer than ever…Will it be in the summer? In the fall? Next winter? Will there be enough for all? And then I began to think that this year will end being pretty similar to last year, and that if we are lucky enough to not catch the virus (and survive in a physical sense), it will be more difficult than ever to look ahead (and survive in a psychological sense), because we are tired, without energy.

It is difficult to have hope in a moment such as this although perhaps it should be easier to cling to it now that we can already imagine a day when we can allow ourselves to be together without fear. But for some reason, there are days when no matter how much one tries, this is not possible because even when we arrive at that wished-for immunity, not one of us is immune to the economic and social situation of the present and the future, and there will be no vaccine to solve the short-term consequences of the pandemic…

I suppose that what I want to say today is that even though we might not see the light at the end of the tunnel, we remain here, and that should be reason enough to not lose hope. Mental health is more important than ever, and we don’t always have the necessary tools to keep healthy (mentally). But let us begin by listening to one another, with time, respect and empathy because perhaps this might be the only remedy available for all of us to survive.

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