When asked Onarlis, a 30-year-old woman, why there are so many people in the mall where she attends a café, she doesn’t hesitate to say that “people are crazy, they come here to get over the kettle.”
And it’s not for nothing. Hundreds of people entered the mall, located south of the city. Much more than in the last few days, according to Onarlis. The reason? It is not the supply, although there were families marketing and preparing for isolation. Suspension of power service for network maintenance is what agglomerates them in the enclosure; the power outage was presented for more than 10 hours in the neighborhoods surrounding the mall, as well as in other sectors of Barranquilla, Soledad, and Puerto Columbia.
At the heart of the pandemic panic, as the hashtag #QuédateEnCasa as a mitigation of the virus suggested by health authorities and politicians, increases the heat, eat, and connect their cell phones at the mall. Onarlis is happy, selling three times as much as the previous day, although she has caught the eye for those who approach his business only to connect the chargers of his cell phones without consuming anything. “The receipt of light is very expensive,” she argues.
The measures are taken to counter the pandemic reflect the inequality and poverty in which we live. Yes, preventive isolation is necessary, above all, because there is a possibility that the number of cases of infected persons is higher by asymptomatic people or that they are not reported to the health system. Let us remember that this has happened with other viruses: four years ago, Zika infected nearly one hundred thousand people, and today children born with hydrocephalus are a consequence of this. “Well, it gave me Zika, and thank God I didn’t die,” Onarlis says, confirming the fragility of our reality.
The closure of classes in public schools, for example, makes us question the overcrowding in which students are receiving their classes and the precariousness of water service in official institutions.
In this country paradox, incentivizing handwashing amid a water access deficit is also comparable to studying and working at home without electricity or minimum conditions in the digital environment. That’s not to mention that half of the Columbia live off physical work.
According to DANE figures, about 30% of Columbians live in poverty, informal jobs, and no essential services. Action must also be taken on this. Taking care of the virus requires more than staying at home, washing your hands, and disinfecting everything, you need to have essential services that are satisfied, such as electricity. This isolation must mean a period of reflection to overcome the other crises that affect us.