18 months ago, in the middle of the pandemic, The Yucatan Times published this editorial piece. We re-take it today, and sadly, the situation has not changed much ever since, in fact, it has gotten worst.
Mexico is a country that has always been united in tragedy and pain. In the earthquakes, shoulder to shoulder, we removed debris while searching for survivors. In the hurricanes, we came together to send food to the affected people regardless of social or economic status. In both cases, we all came together to clean up and rebuild, except now. Today, Mexico is torn apart by politics, tragedy and grief.
Mexico could have prepared for the pandemic with enough time, but it did not. Today we have thousands of dead and thousands of sick.
While our health professionals are working to save the thousands of sick throughout our country, unscrupulous people are attacking them, insulting them and discriminating against them.
Thousands of Mexicans are incapable of paying the price of a medical consultation; arguing is too expensive. Yet, in places where there is a “dry law,” they gladly pay 3 and 4 times more for the alcohol of their choice.
Millions of Mexicans have to go out to work and risk their lives because they live from day to day and give them anything to stay home. Millions of Mexicans are locked up in their homes, not knowing how to make the most of their time.
Never before have we had so much access to knowledge. The internet is full of books and courses of all kinds, and for free. There is plenty of time. Instead of reading or taking advantage of increasing knowledge, people prefer to watch television or download movies.
Technology has brought us closer to those who are far away and away from those who are near.
Social networks have disunited us more than ever. We have time for dialogue, but we prefer to debate, insult, and denigrate those who do not think like us.
Information is at our fingertips, but we are more misinformed than ever.
We have realized how much we miss our loved ones who, even if they are close to us, we cannot shake their hands, let alone hug, without taking a real risk.
At some point in this confinement, the cook who lives in each of us is cooking something delicious, but we cannot share it with those we love.
Before, we longed for the weekend to rest. Today we have so much free time that we can’t find a way to make the most of it.
Our majestic landscapes, our beaches, our magical villages are better off without us now that disease has confined us.
The air is much purer, but we have to cover our mouths and noses.
Those who have money have no way to spend it, and those who have no money have no way to earn it.
Our politicians, instead of looking out for our interests, have taken advantage of our confinement to push their partisan agenda. Sadly many defend them with their eyes closed, without realizing that they don’t even care about the people, and long time friendships have been lost.
Our president, instead of uniting us, has divided and separated us more than ever. Today, hate and resentment have served to join us, one against the other.
Some blame the rich for poverty. Others blame the former governments for creating millionaires. Some argue that those with money have it because they stole from someone else, some who have it say that those without it are lazy and misguided. Everything is black or white in the argument. People don’t see the hundreds of nuances in between.
Perhaps, with luck, one day, we will all look in the mirror and realize something fundamental… We are alive! And thousands fell by the wayside.
Mexico, the country always united in tragedy and pain. The country wherein the earthquakes, shoulder to shoulder, we removed debris while searching for survivors. The nation where after devastating hurricanes we united to clean up and rebuild, today is distant, secluded, upset, and disunited in tragedy and pain.
How good it would be to wake up one morning and consider what brought us together in every tragedy we have experienced as a country. We can redo everything, rebuild, start over. As long as we are alive, there is another chance.
For The Yucatan Times / Times Media Mexico
José E. Urioste Palomeque
Merida Yucatan, Mexico
June 01, 2020
Facebook – @JoseUriosteMX
Twitter – @PipoUrioste
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