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Por Mariel Fiori
September 2020
If there is, yet another thing, this pandemic that has been with us for six months teaches us, is that with so much uncertainty about what will come tomorrow or next week or in a month, there is no other choice but to live in the present. It seems that we will all have to study more Buddhism and the teachings on impermanence: everything changes. As the song says: What changed yesterday, will have to change tomorrow, just as I change in these foreign lands ...

Living in the present is what we have left to keep our sanity, to be here and now, grateful because we see the sun rise in the morning and because today is a wonderful day, despite everything. Once we start the day with a focused attitude (om, om, om), it becomes easier to weather the storm.

One of the storms is insecurity, due to the beginning of classes, due to the lack of confidence in the school system, which had already been failing us before the pandemic, and now, despite the apparent efforts, still leaves us restless. Classes in person? No vaccine available yet? And who's going to make everyone wear a mask all the time? Who is going to be cleaning the bathrooms every 15 minutes? Is there really good air circulation in classrooms? What happens if there is a contagion? Who has to quarantine, the grade, the teachers, the whole school? Remotely? And who will teach online, the teacher or the substitute? Where do teachers who have to teach online from their classrooms leave their own children? What do parents who work with their children all day at home do following a computer? What happens to school breakfasts and lunches if we don't have transportation to pick them up from school? And if the educational experience of the spring was very bad, how do we reinvent ourselves to do homeschooling, the famous homeschooling, which is not the same as distance education, still connected with the dictates of the school? And what do we do if we don't understand English, if we don't have a computer, or a stable internet connection? Oh, the list goes on.

These are some of the questions we have to ask school principals, superintendents, school boards. Our voice must be heard. Not only in social networks to record our frustration. Several of these questions were answered by the governor in some way, sometimes vague, sometimes precise. For example, if a university has 5% of its community (teachers, students, administrators) infected, or 100 people with COVID-19, whichever is less, it will close for two weeks. And we are already beginning to see local universities close for reaching these numbers faster than ice cream melts.

Another lesson from Buddhism, and common sense, and science, is that everything is connected. We are one, from the farthest galaxy to the deepest point on Earth, including us humans. There is talk of the butterfly effect, how wing flapping in one part of the world causes a tsunami on the other side. How a sneeze in Europe flew to New York and left us all with a coronavirus spike in April. This interconnection, globalization, for example, must be well understood in order to take the next step. Where do we want to go?

I see all this uncertainty, all these changes and all this universal unity (as humans we are very obviously united today by a viral pandemic), as a great opportunity. The great opportunity to make a clean slate, out with the old that no longer serves us, to make room for what is necessary for the 21st century. How do you make good decisions? Understanding what is happening, being well informed (avoiding the toxicity of disinformation channels at all costs), is more important today than ever. I present to you the September issue of La Voz magazine. Knowledge is power, start here.

Mariel Fiori
Managing Editor

*Translated from Spanish by Nohan Meza


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La Voz, Cultura y noticias hispanas del Valle de Hudson



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