From the ground: COVID19 Parish Priest. Spain. EN


Climbing in Spain
(COVID-19. Coming out of confinement)

Julio Cesar Rioja cmf
Parish priest of St. Francis. Elda. Spain
Journalist

The pandemic makes many things forgotten and others deepened. The ODS (Sustainable Development Goals), in these months have ceased to be in the lapels and anagrams of some of the political parties or governments that seemed to promote them, but now all that is occupied by CORVI-19. It is only fair to acknowledge some things and ask about others.

It is fair to recognize some things and ask about others. It is important to recognize, at least within our country, that this time, unlike in the previous crisis, the government has taken an interest in people and not in rescuing the banks, especially in the area of decent work (Obj 8). There is the applause of every afternoon (Obj 3). The social aids against poverty are numerous and they arrive, the NGOs of national scope are doing a great work from Cáritas, Associations of Neighborhood, Red Cross and the Social Services of each population (Obj 1). In this country, education (Obj 4) has always been on one side or the other, ideological, and I fear that they have no solution.

The equality of gender (Obj 5) has become invisible, united in the confinement of aggressors and victims, we will see what happens when this happens, many have used the demonstrations of 8M not only to say that it was irresponsible, but to show their position in front of everything they consider feminism. The water (Obj 6) needed not only to wash our hands, some remind us that it cannot be contaminated by masks and gloves (again we have returned to plastic).

The responsible consumption (Obj 12), see by neighborhoods and not only geographical, perhaps we are more in favor of a sustainable decrease, in front of the shadow of sustainable growth that has appeared and has revealed to us the contradiction that it carries within, and above all when the threats of climate change, the destruction of nature or the consequences of this neoliberal economy that kills are denied.

These months have left us with a cleaner atmosphere, cities empty of cars and some point to the search for renewable energy, a more ecological life, but we will see what this means (Obj 7-11). What is most regrettable is the issue of building alliances and solid institutions (Obj 16-17), politicians are not capable of creating unity even in this situation, they are not up to the citizens.

We can also ask ourselves some questions at a more global level: development NGOs are trying hard to remind us of what is happening elsewhere on the planet, but their visibility is low. I am afraid that once again we will be the first ones to do so. We do not know what will become of development aid in the budgets, even at local level.

In short, we could say that the "new normality", as they call it, is not going to be so new or normal, it seems. It would have to take shape from the outset: thinking globally and acting locally. For that we would have to take into account some things.

1. We are in a moment of evaluation of nationalisms, of what is ours, of every man for himself, first what is ours and this seems to aggravate it; immigrants have it badly.

2.- The Alliances to achieve the ODS: the UN, WHO..., do not have a real world authority for global problems. 

3.- We cannot base most of our economy on tourism, it would be necessary to invest in renewable energies that can create many jobs. 

4.- It is necessary to raise taxes on those who have more if we want to maintain the welfare state. It is good to remember here the DSI (Social Doctrine of the Church) on the common good.

5.- The Minimum Vital Income (MVI) was necessary in Spain in the face of impoverishment and being one of the countries where there is the greatest social gap between rich and poor.

6.- We have to rethink another model of consumption, in these days we have verified that we have many things and superfluous needs.

7.- We must take care of the public, especially health and our attention to the elderly.

8 .- We leave in this de-escalation, the vast majority, without understanding the flags, without understanding their relationship to "patriotism", the recovery in some cases of an outdated and unconstitutional symbolism, harmful in the name of freedom. But how to harmonize care for life and respect for freedom?

So we are: the panorama is not very encouraging, many think that this pandemic, at these levels, will not change things much. From the Gospel, we have a different proposal of life style, although this is not very successful among us either. We will continue to insist, there is no other way.

Julio Cesar Rioja cmf
Parish priest of St. Francis. Elda. Spain
Journalist

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)


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