Wow – what a year!
Wait. What? We just started 2021, and it’s already been a humdinger of a year.
Not two weeks into 2021, and we’ve already seen unimaginable increases in COVID cases and deaths, continue downward economic spiraling in many global economies, and a near coup in the United States. I guess 2021 isn’t going to be the year for getting back to normal like we were all hoping.
I think that’s a good thing.
No, please do not get me wrong – I’m not condoning the horrific violence and insurrection that happened in the U.S. capital last week. That was a misguided, toxically led attempted coup. It was the antithesis of the free expression of democratically held beliefs and actions. It was domestic terrorism.
Equally – I am overwhelmed by the impact of the global pandemic. So many lives were lost, and so much economic and social devastation has occurred. I am not promoting a protracted recovery. I want the pandemic to end now.
I guess what I am saying is this – 2021 promised so much when we peered over the hedges of December. However, this year is proving itself to be a continuation of the lessons we faced in 2020. It is a continued reminder that the work of social justice, economic equity and equality, and health parity are just beginning. It is a call to keep our focus.
On January 13, the Peruvian government announced changes to the countrywide State of Emergency. High-risk areas – Lima-Callao, Cusco, Arequipa, Ica – are under a new curfew and travel and activities restrictions. The government announcement calls for the new measures to be in place through the end of January. We’re planning for a more extended period.
We have a structure that allows us to respond to the immediate needs of the communities we serve as the pandemic shifts – and continue our efforts in models of care development. A protracted quarantine and curfew mean putting together plans that will enable us to continue our work on the models while managing emergency support with food, medication, and financial assistance.
We are moving into 2021 with our eyes wide open to an ever-changing landscape of need. A holistic plan includes planning for homeschooling at the two Casa Girasoles, creating a telehealth program for the Ines Project families, supporting weekly food distribution to single mother-led households economically devastated by COVID, and supporting young adults in the Tigre Program transitioning from corrections amid the pandemic.
Wow-what a year! Two weeks in, and we’re so much better-prepared thanks to all the support we received and the lessons and learning we gained in 2020.
2021 is not starting as the year we thought it was going to be. That’s okay because we’re ready!
Thank you for all your ongoing support. Please, stay connected.
More Health Bridges International HBI connects young professionals in training together around service learning projects. We partnered with academic institutions to provide meaningful experiences for young professionals in training to learn about health care in developing countries and the cultural differences of health systems.