Why Has COVID19 Not Yet Reached My Community?

Ollantay Itzamná
Community formative assembly

In my “decolonial” phase, almost a decade ago, I decided to leave the city and live in rural areas. To relearn farming, to cultivate. To allow myself to be aesthetically and existentially cultivated by Mother Earth in my return to Her.

It was in this existential phase that the announcement of the “Planetary State of Siege” by COVID19 found me, found us. At that time, it was March 2020. In the family, in our community, we decided to “stay in the community, making community, cultivating gardens, raising food…” Our children and young people lived community life as never before!

We are in September 2021, in Europe, after the restricted vacations, there is talk of the fourth wave of COVID19, it is even announced that the third dose of the anti-COVID “vaccine”, which is not a vaccine at all, is being implemented.

At the moment, there is talk of more than 200 million infected people in the world, and more than 5 million deaths. In Guatemala, although almost nobody believes the official statistics, there is talk of about 12,000 deaths.

The truth is that COVID19 has not yet reached our Indo-Campesino community, in any of its variants. And if it did, we did not even notice it. What did arrive, at first, was the fear radiated from the cell phone screens.

And we are not very far geographically from the accumulated areas (cities). From the nearest town, we are separated/isolated by a 2 Km. road. 160 Km away, in the capital city, the hospitals were, are and always will be collapsed.

What protects us from COVID19?

Municipal forest, water breeder

Our rural condition. This disease, due to its characteristics, is urban. It develops in the cities, and if it can, it advances towards the not so urban areas following urban lifestyles. In the communities, even though we are in a “small country”, we do not suffer competition for oxygen, nor for rays of sunlight. We produce/exchange part of what we need for food, drink. We create our own pursuits, without the need for overcrowding.

Abundance of solar energy and oxygen. As far as it is known, COVID19 kills by depriving the sick of what is abundant: oxygen. In the community, due to the “tropical miracle”, we do not suffer from competition for oxygen, as it happens in the cities. Plants and wind purify the environment. Direct solar heat is part of our daily life. We do not overshadow each other, nor do we take oxygen away from our neighbors. Of course, we have other problems.

We collect or try to collect water. We have a water source for the community, and we try to take care of it by cultivating water ecosystems. It would be impossible to overcome any kind of disease without having living water. Cities are more vulnerable to disease because, in many places, they suffer from water rationing. Bottled water is almost always dead water.

“We don’t access hospitals.” One of the “superstitions” that became widespread in rural areas in these pandemic times is: “In hospitals they are committing murder”. Not because the doctors are murderers, but because the public health centers, lacking medicines, infrastructure, personnel…, neglect the sick… Hence, the slogan: “If you have symptoms of COVID19 do not go to the hospital, let’s take care of ourselves at home, with lemon, ginger, honey, garlic, iboprofen…”.

Fear, anxiety, stress, are allies of COVID19. At the beginning, we were almost infected by the fear propagated by the media. But, we knew how to control it. Anxiety and stress did not reach the community.

We know each other as neighbors. Therefore, the presence of the “other” does not generate distrust/fear. Anxiety or stress do not permeate community lives in the open field, and in contact with Mother Earth.

Being organized and on the move is and was the other antidote against COVID19. Humans are gregarious by constitution. The global State of Siege, with its “stay at home”, ordered us to go against this existential principle. And, isolated, frightened, without sun, affection, or oxygen, the virus struck hard in the cities.

In our community we continued with our organizational/formative options. The organization, the assemblies, were and are our therapies in times of pandemic. We carried out and will continue to carry out collective actions of protest and propose structural changes to protect, if anything, humanity from more pandemics that weaken us as a species.

Translation by Internationalist 360°