"I miss seeing you, I want to hug you"
In a time of the pandemic, families have distanced themselves, and fear keeps away those who once thought of reuniting and can not do so
- MARILUZ ROLDÁN
- 13:02 hrs
In a time of the pandemic, families have distanced themselves, and fear keeps away those who once thought of reuniting and can not do so for the time being.
"I miss seeing you. I want to hug you," my uncle Toño tells me on the other end of the phone. "Me too," I reply as I recall our coffee-bread snacks chats and laughs for hours. Now I'm not sure when I will be able to visit him.
In mid-February, before we could gauge the coronavirus's impact, it was my aunt's birthday, and the whole family got together to slice her cake. I was feeling tired and decided not to go. After all, I could see them in March for my cousins' birthday.
Covid-19 had other plans, and it was no longer possible to meet later. The last time I saw my family was in January, on my birthday, we planned to eat together on several occasions, but for one reason or another, it did not happen.
In these months, I have not attempted to visit them even though we live very close. It is not that I do not want to see them, quite the contrary, I am dying to hug them; However, because I love them, that's why I prefer not to be with them because although I am in good health, I couldn't bear to get them sick because of me.
There's another reason why I can't see my uncles because they wouldn't let me in. In the building where they live, the seven departments' inhabitants held a meeting in early March. They agreed that they would not receive anyone from outside, that is, no visits, no cleaning staff, and of course, no parties, all as a preventive measure to avoid infections.
The inhabitants of this place were not the only ones who had this idea. In a building in the Popotla neighborhood, there was a sign with the message "faces we see, asymptomatic carriers we don't" to remind those who live there that they should not receive outsiders.
The new rules in the "new normal"
Some households also established their own rules for the "new normal". Angélica was concerned when her sister's boyfriend came to her house for fear of contagion. Preventing her from going was not an option because it would cause problems for her family.
The solution she found to be calm was to "sanitize" him. The ritual is to make him clean his shoes thoroughly on arrival, wash his hands, put on the gel, and almost spray him with disinfectant. He accepted to see his girlfriend and is already used to the fact that this process must continue.
While some take extreme measures, others are too relaxed. Where I live, most of the neighbors have already forgotten the pandemic has not ended, and they have been celebrating for three consecutive weekends. "Susana Distancia" was not invited to these events.
Voices chanting songs, screaming and drinking are again the typical scenes on Saturday nights. In short, everyone is aware (or unconscious) of their decisions.
Traducción. Valentina K. Yanes