2020 is the year that nobody wants to remember and few have to thank? A period in time that brought great teachings? A moment that allowed many resignify their lives, with the impulse that only suffering achieves?
In New York City with over 25,000 dead With COVID-19, thousands of survivors of the infection, an economy in plummet and with crime escalating dangerously in the most vulnerable neighborhoods, many different visions of how to assume and what to expect of the next twelve months to come.
“Our city and the world has given a 360 degree turn. The pandemic has been a tragedy, but at the same time a moment that has forced many families to share and get to know their children better. 2021 will be different if there is a change in collective consciousness, which allows us to accept that despite the vaccine, we will have many years living with COVID-19”, Explained the Dominican clinical psychologist Julia Bello, 58 years old, residing in The Bronx.
In the words of Bello, who works in the New York Suicide Prevention Helpline There is a very dangerous mix in the Big Apple of collective panic, crime and depressive pictures that are obviously based on terrible economic pitfalls that leaves the pandemic.
“We live in a society where everyone is under suspicion of being infected. A few years ago it was the same sensation that HIV generated. Beyond the great economic changes that are expected, this experience of the coronavirus should generate a reeducation process. I want people to become aware ”, stressed the mental health professional.
The battle of 2021
He Guatemalan doctor Osbin Alvarado, 32, who has been dealing in front of emergency rooms in the Bronx Health Care, experienced the intensity of the pandemic in the harsh months of spring, when the scientific community was still beginning to understand the new COVID-19.
“We have more clarity on how to treat patients. We still have 2021 to fight the pandemic. I saw patients and their families cry from all walks of life. It is a powerful example of how human beings we are very vulnerable. When we think that we have advanced, something like a virus arises that with its intelligence can go beyond our ambitions, ”says the Central American.
Alvarado calculates that mask use and social distancing it should be present for a long time on the horizon.
“As it was calculated the numbers of infected go up in the city. I presume that people has lost the fear of the virus, which is very negative to control this emergency. That will be the battle we will have in this new year, that people do not lower their guard, “added the health professional.
Less violence more solidarity
The year ending for New Yorkers means a series of challenges: immunizing 80% of the population with the new vaccine against COVID-19 before the summer, restoring the vitality of a destroyed economy and reducing the renewed momentum that has had violence army that caused more 1,800 gunshot victims.
This means in cold numbers an increase of 90% if compared to 2019.
The Dominican construction worker, Pablo Peña, 52 years old, says that the “difficult times” that the Big Apple is experiencing due to the pandemic unleashed “other demons” in recent months.
“I personally wish that this new year to come, peace is restored in our neighborhoods. It gives the impression that there are no policemen. In some cases, criminals run over him, ”says the Bronx resident, who was a witness in that county this year. of very violent situations.
Peña believes in the thesis that the world scientific community has already underlined: that it will take years so that humanity can control this new virus.
“So I think we should look to the future with more solidarity, especially the billionaires in this city. See how the Subway is, every day more full of homeless people. They must be viewed with compassion. This 2021 people must forget selfishness, because the same this virus and the new strains can devour us all. It does not discriminate ”, concluded the immigrant who left the island in 1992 and who considers himself one of the privileged ones who did not lose his job due to the pandemic closures.
Indeed, this construction worker’s comment goes beyond the personal impression of a New Yorker who take public transportation every day.
The New York Coalition of the Homeless revealed a grim and unprecedented event in the history of the Big Apple. In the last quarter of 2020 for the first time more than 20,000 homeless single adults they sleep every night in shelters.
Waiting for safer times
The pandemic this year disrupted the agenda, plans and dreams of most people. Though it was not always for the worse.
The Venezuelan Alejandra Baptista, 18, With great efforts from her immigrant family, she had achieved her desire to be a scholarship at New York University (NYU) and live the experience of that campus with colleagues from around the world. After a year adapting to the dynamics of the city, like most university students, he had to be eligible for remote classes last spring. And go back to his parents’ house in Florida.
“The classes have been just as demanding. That does not mean that the quality of education has dropped, on the contrary. I continue with a very high level of academic demand and with teachers who have adapted to this new virtual reality in a way that we could not have imagined. Everything indicates that this scheme will also last until next year ”, said Baptista.
The NYU student acknowledges that returning to her parents’ home, when everything implied that she had already taken a step towards independence, It has been very interesting.
“In the midst of the pandemic, it was very positive that we were all together. Campus experience is very important, but safer times will come. For now, I will continue with virtual classes until the tide of the pandemic goes out in the city ”, concluded the student.
In the 192 colleges in New York Most of its enrollment has opted for distance classes due to the contagion risks faced by student residences.
From the March 1 to December 10 more than 14,000 positive cases of coronavirus on state campuses, according to a report by The New York Times.
For others, the confinement imposed by the public health crisis allowed the redefinition of many family decisions.
The Colombian Luisa Aragón, 40 years old, she lost her job and that forced her five-year-old to receive only distance classes at a public school in Queens.
“With the rush of daily life, I would send the girl to a good school assuming that was it. When I start to be with her with distance classes, unfortunately i realized i had learning disabilities. This allowed me to understand that I must be closer to her. And this was the moment. Perhaps without this crisis it would have taken much longer to detect it ”, he commented.
- 34% of the deceased last year due to complications with COVID-19 they were of Latino origin.