Our new normal seems the perfect broth to incubate any virus: badly-wear masks (some transparent that can hardly protect from something)

She abruptly invaded the space sitting next to me in the carriage. We are side by side. She put her bags between her legs and a little between mine as well. Once settled, ipso facto, she lowered her facemask. Seconds later, she had a coughing fit, and then another.

Instinctively, I looked inside her purchases. I managed to see ripe tomatoes, cassava, onions…, a prelude to long lines. I tried to protect myself by turning my head to the opposite side, but I remembered that the first thing I do when I get home is to stamp my nostalgia against a tiny face. I visualized those huge and sacred black eyes, and my "irritability" was activated: "Ma'am, please pull up your face."

Not only did she not correct the lack of it, but she also gave me a very scowl and said that she was short of breath as a result of chronic asthma, and with her mouth and nose covered she could not breathe. She assured that she felt very bad, because she had been looking for food in various places, under the sun, and despite the discomfort, she had other steps to materialize that day.

I tried to lighten my insolence and suggested that she should go to the polyclinic and stay home later because the most important thing is to escape from COVID-19. With all the force of her released droplets, she confessed to me that this was a luxury she could not afford. "Not now that we're fine, nor when the quarantine could stop running errands ..."

The words of the lady with the bags elicited other reflections from detractors and speeches of apology. But it was very clear to me that in this province, with an apparently stable epidemiological panorama, the perception of risk is definitely made to all leaks by horse-drawn carriage and without a facemask. I say this because 15 infected in a day does not seem like a small thing to me.

There are many mitigating factors ... It is true that the pandemic came to us in the midst of the most complicated context in recent years. If 2020 was tense; now, on the edge of the Ordering Task, prices have skyrocketed, offers have become scarcer, and “the street” - half devoid of everything - is the scene of many people like hordes in search of satisfying peremptory needs.

There are people who cannot, although they want, to stay at home and avoid crowds because they have commitments with other more vulnerable relatives. However, I dare to say that right now what most qualifies our environment are individuals who feel untouchable in the face of the real danger of the COVID-19, and for whom the daily death figures are nothing more than cold and remote numbers.

A glance in the center of the city is enough to understand that our new normal seems the perfect broth to incubate any virus: badly-wear masks (some transparent that can hardly protect from something), tumults, full buses, and a lot, a lot of influx of people, children, older adults.

I have heard various criteria from parents concerned about the continuity of the school year, there are those who question why we have not gone back from the epidemiological phase to prevent a great setback; but people do not assume at once that each one of us should have the civic responsibility to protect ourselves, without anyone having to demand it.

The lady in the carriage is just a bad example; at other times, those who act recklessly are others, even we. The new coronavirus and its great contagiousness have put human resilience to the test, but we still have a long way to go in its companion.