surinenglish

THE BOTTOM LINE

We were going to be better

We knew it was going to be tough, but when all this started we had certain expectations that the experience could make us better as a society. Not only because after 2008, and what followed 2008, there was no room for the chain to break again at its weakest link, but above all because on this occasion, when no one was safe, we had understood that the only way of getting through this was together.

A crisis where there are no winners could be overcome with everyone rowing in the same direction.

Once again we believed the tale that in every crisis lies an opportunity, as if that opportunity were to present itself to everyone, and as if those who end up losing had, what's more, to feel guilty for not having been able to work out where that opportunity was as the world was collapsing around them.

As there was no other way of preventing depression at the start of a lockdown with no certain end date, we preferred to believe that the misfortune would lead us to weave bonds of solidarity in the community, of responsibility towards our neighbours, of appreciation of shared interests, of tolerance with different opinions, of commitment to those who suffered most.

We needed to believe that all this would have some meaning, and because of that we thought that counting hundreds of deaths at the end of each day of confinement, that seeing our children miss day after day of classes, that not being able to put our arms round our parents, that watching the economy come to a standstill, ripping life plans to shreds, would result in the emergence of something better in compensation.

We acted out a large part of those hopes every day at eight o'clock in the evening from our balconies, but the expectations that all this could bring something good have faded away with the applause.

We believed that we could make them better, our politicians and our leaders.

Now you only have to look at how they have dragged us towards confrontation, intolerance and selfishness to conclude that they are the ones who have made us worse.