”STAY SAFE” HOW A PANDEMIA TAUGHT US THE IMPORTANCE OF CARE – Article by Anthi Papadimatou ( Solid.A.I.R.)

These days I talk a lot with my friends. With the people I love. With some of them I used to talk regularly, with others we haven’t talked for months. Our conversations differ, some of them last for hours, some of them last for minutes. But all of them end the same way: Stay safe.

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Take care. It will pass. We will get through this together. Stay safe. How important are these phrases and how little we thought about expressing those kind of feelings before. The phrase ”Stay Safe” is associated with the hashtag which became viral nowadays ”Stay home. Stay safe”. This hashtag was made and it became so popular in order to push people to follow the lockdown and social distancing measures. People use to say that sometimes when we use so often words or phrases they tend to lose their meanings. Maybe it’s true. But under the current circumstances, the meaning of safety was never more relevant and urgent. When you say it and you write it, you remind to the other people to take care of themselves, you remind them that you want them to be safe, you remind them that you empathize with them.

We haven’t talked for so long my friend. I had my work and you had yours. I was tired after so many hours behind a screen and I wanted to just watch something stupid or go out and have a drink. I didn’t have time to talk and catch up with anyone. Hours pass by. Days pass by. Months pass by. And we still didn’t have the time to make that video call. But now we have all the time of the world. And I’ve never talked so much with my friends. And I never got so many messages from close friends, from lost friends, from people I used to hang out in the past but we lost each other for some reason. ”How are you?”, ”I was thinking about you these days”, ”Hope you are ok”, ”Send me your news”, ”Take care”, ”Stay safe”. Stay safe, because now more than ever I understand how much I need other people in my life. Stay safe because now I feel the ugliness of loneliness. Stay safe because I miss you. Stay safe because now I understand how important is to take care of each other. Stay safe my friend. I’m one thousand miles away from you and yet I’m right there.

Written by Anthi Papadimatou – SolidAIR volunteer

SolidAIR is supported by ESC -European Solidarity Corps

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