At the WCIA, we understand that the outbreak of COVID-19 is difficult for so many people across the world. In uncertain times like these, it is heartwarming to see communities uniting in solidarity, and even song in some cases.We are reaching out to people worldwide to share global perspectives on COVID-19, recognising the global nature of the issue, and some of the similarities and differences of experiences in different countries. We want to identify and share the positive stories emerging from the situation as a source of inspiration for people in these challenging times.
Martina Gargari is a former EVS/ESC volunteer with UNA Exchange. She is from Rome but lives in Madrid.
“I have been living in Madrid since February this year. A state of Emergency was declared here on march 13th and therefore, most people have been staying in their homes since then.
“We are allowed to go out just in order to shop food (one person per family), to go to pharmacies and to walk our dogs. Police patrol the neighbourhood, verifying the reason why you are walking down the street. You have to queue to enter the supermarket, respect the distance to buy a medicinal. The freedom of movement is suspended, for the common good. All the shops, bars, pubs, restaurants are closed.
“Police patrol the neighbourhood, verifying the reason why you are walking down the street”
“Public transport is reduced (but not suspended), as a few categories of workers are still “regularly” working: doctors and nurses, “in primis”, but also supermarket employees, pharmacists and couriers, as we recently discovered.
“Where available, people are “smart-working” from home but that is not always possible.The main challenge we are facing is maintaining a healthy mind and, possibly, body.
“The main challenge we are facing is maintaining a healthy mind and, possibly, body”
“I think it’s difficult to realise all the chaos and problems we are facing. People dying in a blink of an eye. Yet, the only thing we can do is, simply as it seems, stay at home. Relax. Watch movies. Read books.
“First in Italy, then in Spain, a tradition has been started: at a given time, decided on social media (8 p.m. here in Madrid) we are stepping out on the balcony to clap, in honour of doctors and nurses and their huge work. Even if it lasts only a few minutes, it gives you a sense of community.
“We are not alone in this “confinement”. We are not fighting alone this virus. We are altogether. We are one. And, even if it seems barely impossible to see the end of this period, it will come.”