A utopian photograph causes a dystopian reaction. It is decided that Madrid will be the destination of my freedom. Thank you Ruth for letting your words find this picture.


by Ruth del Pozo

One of the things that surprised me during this confinement was the ease with which we found similarities with the situation we are living in.

In many cases, war metaphors are used. There's no day when anyone talks about fighting, defeating or ending the virus. It is a matter of supsigning an invisible enemy who unfortunately has put us all on the same side, without weapons and accusing us of a large number of casualties. No, it's not a fight on equal terms, but if I may compare, this damn disease is going to win a lot of battles, but we're not going to let her win the war.

There is also the recurring idea of "hibernation". The economy was put into hibernation and so did our lives. I have to admit, this idea, which resembles a bear that enters the cave during the winter waiting for spring, seems unfortunate to me. The bear sleeps during the cold season, waking up to the heat, for life. Unfortunately, our spring is far from idyllic. The economy will not wake up to a spring full of life, but rather to a wasted and barren desert that will be difficult to fill with new shoots and, in the case of our lives, what to say… many of the bears will never leave the cave again.

Another comparison I read the other day was that of the story of Sleeping Beauty, similar to this deep sleep stop in which both the protagonist of the story and the inhabitants of her kingdom were plunged after a curse. A 100-year dream… I don't know if we'll get to 100 days of sleep, i just know that in many cases sleep is just a nightmare, that when we wake up we won't be the same and, once again, we'll find that many will have sunk in eternal sleep.

For me, if I have to pick a story, I'll take Rapunzel's. In the end, I find comfort in the thought that an evil witch named COVID-19 imprisoned me for an indefinite period of time, jealous of the good life she possessed. It might even be poetic if it weren't for the fact that my "tower" didn't ignore a verdant forest, but a working-class neighborhood on the outskirts of Madrid. From this ugly cityscape, I can only hope that a prince or princess, who has lately become very open-minded, will come save me, brandishing in his hands a brand-new vaccine that will free me from confinement. The only good thing about the situation, and to put some humor into this horrible dystopian tale, is that I won't have to wait for your beautiful and luminous arrival as a Disney heroine. After all, in this desired happy ending, we will both wear masks.

Ruth del Pozo

Original version in Castilian HERE