I am back in Portland. I had to return sooner than planned. I was not really prepared to return to the USA, but the Lima airport was about to shut down because of the pandemic. I made the decision to come back and be with my daughters in this time of crisis. So, here I am transitioning from a warm climate and warm (for the most part) culture to a cold climate and in my opinion cold culture. A shock to my nervous system. It happens every time I return to USA and little by little, eventually I get used to it again.
However, this time is different because of the quarantine. I cannot see you in person, give you an embrace or hang out with you. I am feeling more depressed than previous years. Also, the differences in the ways Peru and USA deal with the virus are huge. The way people in Lima deal with the Coronavirus is by staying away from hugging or kissing to greet each other, keeping their normal habits of washing hands and covering their mouths when coughing or sneezing, but most of all are keeping their immune systems strong by eating healthy foods and drinking their home herbal concoctions. They have accessible farmers markets full of fresh herbs, roots and plants for pretty much any illness. Some of these remedies are already made for you to consume or if you want to make it yourself the farmer would tell you how to make it. But most Peruvians are not panicking about the virus. They are only buying the necessary. They are not worrying about not having toilet paper or hand sanitizers. Especially poor people, they had suffered so much and had overcome many different things. Together they will survive and overcome this too.
Here in USA it seems to me that everyone is on their own. There aren’t accessible farmers’ markets providing herbs for people to make their home remedies, depending only the pharmaceutical companies to make remedies for you that are not accessible to poor people. People with resources are hoarding the necessities. And people with so little resources are left to fend for themselves.
As I move through this depression with the help of mindfulness practices, I want to share with you something that my daughter Crystal and Presente! Maine is doing to be in solidarity with our community, it is something that is helping me finding hope in this difficult time. She had started a Food Brigade for our Latinx community. Here is a flier with more details: en Inglés o en Español.
Please consider donating to the People’s Emergency Fund: https://www.gofundme.com/f/ndm9pf-people039s-emergency-fund