Health crisis: a reflection on uncertainty

27 March 2020

Almost a year ago, I went to a donor meeting to discuss and analyze the closing of civil society spaces. Two of the central themes of the conversation were how we imagined the future and dystopia. I decided to remain silent on the question about how we imagined the future because being from the Global South and knowing how unpredictable life is, I was struck that uncertainty had no place in the discussion.

This health crisis has brought uncertainty into our lives. Such uncertainty shows us that rational logic, that of predictable results and linearity, does not always work.

The uncertainty of today brings into question how we are living: What are the priorities and values we have been aiming for as a society, as humanity?

It is clear to us that the paradigm of capital over human life, which prevents equal access to health and a dignified life, will determine who from our communities dies and who will recover from this crisis. It is clear to us those who continue to profit from disease and death, and worse still, those who use this moment to continue persecuting and criminalizing those who fight for life and question injustice. It is clear to us that democratic fissures and weaknesses are currently being noticed – the pandemic is being used as a pretext in some countries to militarize daily life and increase digital surveillance. It is clear to us that this health crisis highlights inequality and privilege. Isolation, which should be a safety measure for all, becomes in this context a privilege, as is connectivity. Not all people have somewhere to go or have the means to connect.

It is clear to us that it is not the individual person who saves themself, but that it is the collective that can make the difference. It is clear to us that it is community and solidarity that contribute to collective CARE and open a new opportunity for change.

We believe that it is essential to pause, to take a closer look at who is responsible for CARE and how this affects daily life. To recognize that daily rhythm has changed, that the balance between work life and family CARE requires that times change, and that in order to take care of ourselves and the living beings in our care, we need to make our work day more flexible and rethink the productivist logic of work, as well as rethinking protection and CARE in isolation.

We hope that this forced pause allows us to reconnect with other ways to live, so that our struggles for rights deepen for a healthier, more balanced and fairer life for people, living beings and nature.

Tatiana Cordero Velázquez

Executive Director

Urgent Action Found

Latin America and the Caribbean

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