What have we learned from the pandemic?

2020 has been a year like no other, people all around the world lived pain in more than one aspect. First is facing death, of course,  the pandemic has killed many people, many loved ones, in some cases acquaintances that we knew from our day-to-day activities, in other cases family members, friends or simply public figures we used to hear from them often in the news.

© Giorgio De Chirico

Another aspect is this feeling of strangeness. Since March of 2020, we started seeing in cable news, newspapers, etc. images of many of the world big metropolis almost deserted (New York City, London, Rome, Paris, Madrid, and many others) that remind me of the early works of painter Giorgio De Chirico (1888 – 1978) who along with Carlo Carrà founded the “Scuola Metafisica” (Metaphysical School) art movement where those human habitats, built by humans — and in normal circumstances populated by humans — acquire a dreamlike sense, that seems to be the case in real life when those places are observed in very unlikely circumstances totally empty of people. 

© Edward Hopper

Finally, is this sense of isolation that the pandemic has exacerbated in many of us. I recently read that we are turning into Edward Hopper paintings, people sitting far apart from each other in dining rooms, people observing deserted streets thought windows, a woman alone in an empty movies room … 

In general terms, I wouldn’t say I’m an overly optimistic person, but I think that at least a pale light at end of the tunnel can be seen these days. In the United States, a change in government leadership will radically transform the federal government response to the pandemic, a vaccine is already being distributed in many countries, country economies will start to bounce back probably after the second quarter of 2021. So, hopefully, it is just a matter of months before we start seeing some sense of normalcy back in our lives, but the question still remains, what did we learn from the pandemic?

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