“Respect for COVID-19, not fear”

Article published in the Newspaper Baleares sin Fronteras, on 18/08/2020:


In mid-March/2020, while I was going through a usual and routine day in my office, I assessed a patient with flu-like symptoms that a few days later turned out to be a new virus called COVID-19.

From then until now, in the middle of summer, this famous virus does not lose its prominence, both for its ability to spread (three times higher than flu) and for its morbidity and mortality.

However, I am not going to give more scientific or epidemiological information, what I want is to share my feeling in relation to this social experience we are living.

I have days when I feel sad, I cannot connect with the look of the people in the street and much less with their smile (we all wear a mask), I cannot have skin to skin contact, since we all greet each other from a distance or with the tip of our elbow and I cannot find an encouraging word since the catastrophic dialectic abounds.

With this scenario, I feel in a distant, indifferent and hostile environment, which is why I tend to be irritable and even moody. As the months of the pandemic pass by, I decide that I must not be part of the problem, but of the solution, and for this reason I enter the world of “presentism”, enjoying each new day that God gives me, living fully and responsibly this hard test that we must overcome together.

I start a campaign of optimism with each person and patient that I find in my way, promoting the value of every moment of our lives and the need to take advantage of the forced isolations for our self-knowledge and the strengthening of the ties with our loved ones, inviting tolerance, personal care and a good quality of life with the correction of bad habits, for example, doing sports, quitting smoking, eating better and savoring every bite ; and finally, accepting that we can see a kinder side to the situation, since life continues to offer us a vast universe of wonderful experiences.

That is why I invite you to respect, not to fear the COVID-19. Fear blocks, anguishes and despairs. Respect is defined as “the consideration and special value given to someone or something, which is recognized as having social value or special difference”. Fear is an emotion characterized by an intense unpleasant feeling caused by the perception of a danger, real or supposed, present, future or even past. Like a child’s relationship to a parent, there must be respect, not fear.

Respect for the COVID-19 starts with assimilating the information provided by the health system, following the recommendations to prevent infection, just as was done in its time with AIDS, which certainly has not disappeared, but we treat it with respect.

The fear of COVID-19, arises from the opposite, from misinformation and from thinking that there is no longer any hope and that I can hardly breathe because I can catch the virus.

As a doctor, I am more concerned about the psychosocial impact of the pandemic than the biological one, because if up to now our relationships were more virtual than real, now with “the minimum safety distance”, we could end up losing the most spectacular and powerful sense of the human species:


I say goodbye by inviting you to exercise your sense of touch in your surroundings, giving a strong and sincere hug to your loved ones. As long as we wear our mask, a hug has a very low risk of infecting coronavirus, but a very high risk of infecting LOVE, a fundamental feeling in times like the one we are living in.