Paola from Colombia about positive surprises

11. What does astonish you/ positively surprises you/ What did you not expect/ Were there bizarre experiences?

I never would have guessed that such a situation could occur in my life. As a Colombian, I grew up in a country that was marked by uncertainty and violence for decades. My compatriots have learned to always be prepared for the unknown. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has completely blown my imagination.

Like many others, the crisis caught me off guard. Now, not only does the present give me sleepless nights, but rather the future. In one of my past posts on the I mentionend the economic risks, especially for the textile industry. Now, a few weeks later, I can't necessarily report better news from Colombia. Almost 40 thousand people tested positive and over 1300 deaths leave me speechless. In particular, the fact that despite drastic measures by politicians and the authorities, the number of cases continues to rise rapidly is particularly frightening. But caution is advised here: It would be a mistake to assume that the restrictions are ineffective. On the contrary, in many countries the decline in the number of infections can be traced back to consistent government action. But I have the feeling that the acceptance of the new rules also depends very much on which country you are in.

For many Colombians, everyday life was accompanied by a certain lack of prospects even before Corona. During the pandemic, over the course of the days and weeks, it becomes increasingly clear that fewer and fewer fellow citizens are adhering to the restrictions because they simply can no longer afford to do so. The negative attitude of the last few weeks seems to be slowly turning into protest. It was only at the weekend that riots at the main market in Bogotá, “Codabastos”, hit the headlines, where hundreds of people, especially farmers and day laborers, called a spontaneous protest and vented their anger. Dissatisfaction and fear are spreading in our society. I experience this myself within my circle of acquaintances, friends and family.

At the same time, however, the solidarity in our society surprised me and gives me hope. We all live from day to day trying to help one another. From my perspective, despite the circumstances, the current crisis is an opportunity for everyone to reflect on our role in society. More and more people show solidarity in neighborhood help, which in particular contributes to the food supply of many families. Many Colombian companies try to meet their social responsibility, e.g. through aid deliveries. Many Colombians are now working for a common cause. This is exactly what drives innovation to find practical and everyday solutions that can also save lives. I would never have expected this at the beginning of the pandemic.

Translated from Spanish

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