Hello. My name is Ana and I live in El Paso, Texas. Today’s topic that I want to share with you is undoubtedly about COVID-19. We all know that everything has changed because of the pandemic and that these are challenging times for the entire world as the coronavirus continues to spread. The increase in infections and deaths has led us to be in quarantine, forcing us to isolate ourselves to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Every day we hear discouraging news that worries us and makes us feel distressed. We all wonder when the outbreak will end and everything will return to normal. I believe no one person has the answer.
Not everything is negative. Although we have been forced to remain confined to our homes to protect ourselves, we must emphasize that not everything is terrible and that this has brought positive things to the world and our lives. In the world, the pollution of the air, seas and rivers decreased considerably, there was even more activity of animals in some areas and we remember being better people.
Carbon monoxide levels were reduced by up to 50% by not using cars and airplanes and the nitrogen dioxide produced by industrial activity. That gray cloud that covers the big cities disappeared, and the sky looked lighter. Improvements in the water quality of important rivers in the world, as is the case of the canals of Venice, Italy, which were seen again crystalline.
After seeing the fatigue and dedication of the medical facilities to attend to all that wave of infected people and risking their own lives, people became more supportive, publicly recognizing their work and naming doctors and nurses as the new heroes of our era. Many people come out to their balconies to applaud, sing to them, and send them messages of thanks and encouragement on blankets and cardboard. On television and radio, they dedicate one minute a day to applaud them to thank them for their tireless sacrifice for depriving themselves of being with their own families and going to work. I learned of the case of a nurse in Tabasco, Mexico, that, despite the entire city being underwater due to heavy rains and the streets severely flooded, her husband used a small boat to take her daily to work at the hospital. They had to come down from the second floor of their house through a window because the first floor was completely flooded. Her dedication significantly moved me. She looked thrilled and proud in her white uniform, flawless despite the circumstances. I do not know her name, but for her, all my respect and admiration.
Education was also greatly affected throughout the world. There is no face-to-face school since March 2020, and learning became virtual. Only in some countries have children begun to attend schools with all the necessary hygiene measures to avoid contagion. The good thing about this is that parents were forced to be their children’s teachers themselves, 100% of the time depending on their school education (something that had been missed), combined with home office work and housework. How we have valued the teachers! Well, we don’t have the patience or the capacity that they have to teach our children. The dedication of some of them goes beyond just teaching. I have seen teachers in the news who have enabled their vehicles with a blackboard, school supplies, and textbooks to go to their students’ houses and teach their classes in the open air right there and not be left behind in their school education. In general, we have had a significant advance in the digital area, and we have learned a lot about technologies and equipment. Our children have grown up with this great advantage, and we as adults have had to adapt and update ourselves.
After talking about the angels of health and education, we are the other human beings who became more creative, from cooking and eating better to spending more quality time with our family. This pandemic has caused us to be more caring and care for our community as well. We no longer see those fights in the supermarket for toilet paper or groceries. Supermarkets have implemented schedules only for the elderly to go to buy their food with less risk of contagion. Food banks were organized. Although many people were left without work, many donated cans and necessities to help others less fortunate. Nowadays, you can receive food prepared at home, make purchases online and modify the pharmacy service for greater safety. I have seen people give away face masks and antibacterial gel on the streets. They now take care of you in your car to get tested for COVID and vaccinations. In short, a complete change in our activities.
The bleeding disorders community has also had to change how it continues to inform and educate people affected with hemophilia. The positive is that we have not lost contact, and we are more united than ever. Thanks to the generosity of the professionals who continue to share their knowledge and help us understand all the changes, this is how we move forward, taking care of our physical and mental health. In my area, El Paso, Texas, the first virtual summer camp, designed for children ages 7 to 17, was implemented in 2020 with excellent results, and the good news is that as a Hemophilia Outreach of El Paso volunteer, together, we continue our work in favor of our community during this year, bringing education and virtually promoting coexistence, a new safe way for everyone.
Receive a virtual hug, and do not forget that united, we are better.
Ana and Leonel live with their son Luis, hemophilia B.
*Note: “Infusing Love: A Mom’s View,” is a blog collection of personal opinions and a representation of individuals experiences. While extensive efforts are made to ensure accuracy of the content, the blog entries do not represent HFA or its Board of Directors. The blog is also not intended to be construed as medical advice or the official opinion/position of HFA, its staff, or its Board of Directors. Readers are strongly encouraged to discuss their own medical treatment with their healthcare providers.