Beyond the Pandemic

December 2020

Annus horribilis, we will never forget 2020. And the days of Christmas will still be a difficult time of separation for everyone.

Those who believe that disease and catastrophes are punishments from the vengeful gods have always existed. This time, however, the devoted catastrophists have multiplied also because it is undeniable that this virus really has a strong symbolic meaning. COVID has left us breathless, without smells, without flavors, without path, without encounters. In a world where personal relationships often boil down to an exchange of artifacts on social media. It has erased the past from us, demolishing the elderly, heritages of wisdom and memories.

Many doctors and nurses have sacrificed themselves without saving. Public hospitals filled up and then the Italians realized the absolute value of health as a right, guaranteed by public health paid with taxes.

On the other hand there are the deniers, without a mask, without a sense of the common good. Among these there are various categories: some politicians who have contributed to destroying public health and education, dismantled the welfare state, dramatically accentuated inequalities; and then the unscientific, the revisionists of history, the bad teachers who teach young people that there is never a right part to be in and fight for but everything gets confused and in the end the world is smart and you can't change .

Here in the South of the world it is even harder especially in the urban suburbs where civil society is very weak, unemployment very high and the condition of permanent disease. The pandemic has done nothing but accentuate the problems of all time. Hunger and malnutrition, violation of rights and brutality, domestic abuse and violence, further decrease in access to health services.

World Friends in Kenya is one of the few organizations that has retained all staff on the ground, without leaving the country. Ours is not a job that can be done remotely. We have tackled the pandemic together by spreading prevention and protection from the very beginning. Defying the curfew and checkpoints, an ambulance service was guaranteed for obstetric emergencies for women from slum. A large liquid oxygen depot has been built for the Neema hospital, which is also an important sign for future sustainability. All this was possible thanks to the generosity of our donors and friends.

In the world, inequalities, violence and wars, destruction of the earth and its ecosystem are increasing dramatically.

In the confident expectation of vaccines and treatments, we already have a therapy against the virus in returning to hope, to resist together, to form resilient communities trying not to miss an extraordinary opportunity to build a new social model.

Of all this year we have remained the eyes of the faces of others beyond the masks. Eyes that question, that smile, that are afraid. The sacred child who is reborn every year at Christmas, this time I imagine him with the mask. And in his eyes we would like to contemplate justice, peace, healing.

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