Last updated April 3, 2020 at 9:15 am
Monika Silva reveals the COVID-19 situation on the ground in Montañita, Ecuador.
Why This Matters: It may not feel like it now, but this crisis will end.
First case reported 29 February
Cases 1925; deaths 58
(At Sunday 29 March)
Every day I wake up to the sound of hummingbirds’ wings flapping by my window (actually there are no windows, only half height walls, where I sleep). The sun shines and the sky is blue every day. Magnificent birds’ concerts, omnipresent greenery and giant butterflies fluttering about surround me. Every morning, every single plant-baby of mine in my garden shines with vitality and puts a smile on my face.
In the times of coronavirus nothing interrupts this magical spectacle of nature.
Elsewhere: From the frontline: Switzerland
Except that, in the other, pre-corona dimension, nothing ever interrupted it either. It has simply been my family’s way of life since we moved to the coast of Ecuador six years ago.
With one difference. A fundamental one in our case.
There is no one we can share this natural beauty, the tranquility of our green oasis, with. Instead of hosting travellers from all over the world and by so doing, winning our daily bread, I’ve spent the last two weeks evacuating our guests back to their home countries.
Coronavirus this, coronavirus that; people somewhere out there where material belongings seem to matter more than they matter in our tiny Montañita universe fighting each other for the last roll of toilet paper. Ridiculous. Thank goodness we’re in Ecuador, in our coastal, tropical bubble, distanced from the madness of the other world. Corona will never get us here, ha ha!
And it hasn’t so far.
Maybe it hasn’t thanks to the measures taken by our government. The very same measures that have imprisoned us in our green slice of heaven.
Elsewhere: From the frontline: Singapore
On 30 March, my Duracell-bunny-like daughter will turn four. That day will also mark over two weeks since she’d seen the world outside the bamboo and adobe walls of our property. Over two weeks since she’d seen a friend outside a phone screen.
I wonder if she’ll remember it. I certainly will.
At times I wonder if this will ever end.
Every now and then I enter panic at the realisation that we are and will be left with no income for a very, very long time to come. And then I catch myself thinking that it’s just a matter of waking up from this bad dream.
I can’t allow myself to complain. The thought of families stuck in their provisional, aluminium-made shelters on the outskirts of Guayaquil in this unbearable heat, with hungry children and no electricity, makes my agnostic self feel too sinful.
For now, we will just plant some seeds. Wait for the veggies to grow. Watch the caterpillars turn into giant butterflies. Pick passionfruit and peppermint. Brew another cup of tea. Wash, wash, wash. Maybe, finally take that long, long overdue rest. Keep the little Duracell occupied. Panic and then refuse to believe it.
Until someone wakes us up from this dream.