With bated breath

Publish date 11-09-2020

by Mauro Palombo

Reliable statistics are not exactly the strong point of most countries in the world. But it is a fact that the pandemic spares no one. And if the "first world" is so on its knees, what about the "third" world? Rationally, the fears are deep and well justified; in recent weeks, we have tried to share them, and work on the emergency for everything possible, together with all our friends in Africa, Asia and Latin America: missions, parishes, health facilities, schools, shelters, community facilities, laboratories, farms ...

In almost every country, the authorities have ultimately issued restrictive measures; but that the living conditions, especially in the metropolises, make it practically impossible. There are millions and millions of men, women and children who barely live on what they scrape up day by day: how to "stop"? In which "house" to stay? The best hopes are still represented by a warm humid climate, a population with many young people, and presumably with immune systems already well "trained" by many different severe adversities. While health facilities are what they are / are not. People's awareness of the need for some simple preventative measures and the ability to somehow identify suspicious cases remain the main line of defense.

In this difficult scenario as ever, it is still a time of great relationship and communion between us all. With great concern ... first of all towards us: the news about Italy is flying, and it is also a continuous report on our general and personal situation. Operationally, information was first shared in the various languages, the most reliable - precious goods - and complete as gradually available (especially source WHO) on methods of contagion and therefore of possible prevention, management of home care, management in hospital. Updating us every day.

The equipment for the self-production of sodium hypochlorite sent by Re.Te. over time, and those still somehow sent in these days, work at full capacity, contributing to some hygiene in health and community facilities. With a quick help in terms of resources, some masks, gloves, disinfectants, and some thermometers for screening were purchased for different realities.

Starting also from some Italian experience, a production of masks, which in some way help, has documented and organized in some of the many sewing workshops created. As well as the artisanal production of soap in villages and suburbs, sharing knowledge and recovering methods and skills still present in the communities. A little help made it possible to leave in a short time.

The many projects completed and those in progress find themselves redefining their lives for a while. Those who run schools have had to close them; but often students who come from afar continue to be hosted, without abandoning the teachers to themselves and having continuity for when it reopens. Those who manage shelters for street children find themselves welcoming still others without the usual schedules and times, but making use of so much experience and love for life. Those who work in poor communities soon find themselves having to assist in food emergencies. We are there and we will be there too, with sharing and support. Together, as always.

Mauro Palombo
NP May 2020

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