• Rosa Arias-Yague

COVID19 - a 21st century pandemic

Updated: Jun 2, 2020

During the first days, probably weeks, of lockdown, I spent an incredible amount of time checking the news. Since I am Spanish and Spain was the second country in Europe that suffered a tremendous effect because of the pandemic, Spanish news were my companion at breakfast, lunch and dinner. I could not stop thinking, and this is literal, of family and friends in strict lockdown and most of them, not in houses with garden, common in the UK where I live, but in apartments.

My life became a constant surveillance of the curve of deaths, and I obsessively compared the UK with Spain, convinced that there was not a single reason for the situation to be much better here. The UK reacted late than any other country in Europe, adopting firstly a herd immunity policy (!) that was changed two days after to a much less restrictive lockdown than the ones in Italy and Spain. At this moment, the situation in UK is increasingly similar (in number of deaths) to Italy's.

At lockdown, as many of you will relate, I felt a roller coaster of emotions and while I was always appreciative of my supportive family (amazing husband and daughters), there were days that I felt incredibly sad and down.

That said, I was always conscious of how lucky I was: not only for being in the UK, and not being in Spain, where my time in the garden and the daily one-hour walks would have not been possible. More than that, I did/do not have any material need while I knew others were struggling and news started to concern all of us: gender violence increased in all countries while in lockdown, and the organisations that supported these women, struggled in many cases, to keep offering their services … now that they were more needed than ever. Racism spread all over the world, and while Chinese people kept being the target of insults and attacks (“I am not a virus”), in Spain, the gypsy community suffered discrimination that accused them of spreading the virus... Asylum seekers and refugees have been left in a limbo, and in the developing world, the effects will be devastating.

Despite all this, I do not want to finish in a negative note. We have soooo much learning to do after all the time in lockdown: the first thing of all, health must not be something partisan, public health must be a right for all, no cut-downs with our rights; and well, it became clear, how much the environment has appreciated the “break” we all have taken from planes and cars.

Maybe we have to slow down a bit. And try to learn. To change what was not normal.

Maybe the song I leave you above is a good start. ‘Aves enjauladas’ was composed by the Spanish singer Rozalen in the first weeks of the pandemic (- note that all the profits made with this song will be used for a network of flats for women and families in risk of social exclusion supported by the NGO @entreculturas).

Maybe meditation or mindfulness can help us to feel better and do better... so I also leave you a brief meditation ... with a tree ... I hope you like it!

Sit down in a your favourite chair, or sofa, on the floor, or a cushion, and breath. Simply, pay attention to your breath. Just close your eyes and focus on your breath. Imagine your favourite tree or the one in your street, breathing with you. Breath in and breath out, concentrate just on your breathing. The sun behind their leaves is kissing your skin. Keep breathing and thank the sun and the tree for a new day, where you have been together. Breath again, at least, for three times more and when you finish, open your eyes slowly. Go to your day now, you can set an intention, or simply, you can go feeling new and positive.


#COVID19 @RozalenMusic

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