Two former students from the Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Rosary shared: EXPERIENCE LIVED DURING THE PANDEMIC.
In the last week of March, the pandemic broke out in Guayaquil, a port city of 2,3 million inhabitants, where almost half of the Covid-19 cases in Ecuador took place. You can see the horror and the tragedy. Fear is felt everywhere, and families wander in the city knocking doors to get a place for their sick relatives to be treated, since the public hospital has collapsed. There is no space neither in the hospital nor the private clinics. There is no medicine and no oxygen.
The city faced the nightmare of having dead bodies on the streets. People died at home and their relatives put their bodies on the sidewalks. People who have relatives in the hospital refuse to pick them up and the hospital system collapses. This collapse’s magnitude is so big in the funerary system that the president had to create a group of people who were responsible of burying dead people. Since there is no place for burying people, refrigerated containers are delivered in hospitals so they can place the bodies.
The emergency exceeded the reaction capacity of the society. The city smells as the virus that changed the lifestyle of people in Guayaquil. There is a disease smell, a smell of pain, sadness, emptiness and outrage. The question that many ask is ‘What would have happened if all these people had received a timely medical attention?’ The contagion’s magnitude is explained by how people did not follow government’s instruction as well as the level of poverty in many places of Guayaquil, where people do not have money to stay at home. Hunger does not wait.
Faith is one of the strongest pillars in Guayaquil’s people to go from despair to the hope that we would overcome the situation and that God would be the only one who could save us.
The church focused on making solidary and spiritual efforts. Parishes were used as store centers as well as centers for distributing food. The church kept liturgy and pray by online transmission media to spread hope.
In this scenario, our home ‘Perpetuo Socorro’, also had to go through difficult times in which food was scarce. Nobody was allowed to go shopping and donations were forbidden. We had to survive with what we had.
To share these experiences with the Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Rosary is an opportunity get close to the community that formed us and prepared us for life, especially when serving poor people. We thank God that we have online accompaniment with our dear sisters who were in Ecuador and now live in Spain. Day to day they helped us with their messages to reinforce our faith. They encouraged us and relieve our uncertainties and tensions.
Today, we are in the second phase of easing the lockdown and in Guayaquil during the last two weeks there are no deaths because of Covid-19, though still there are contagion cases. Our illusion and progress desire have defeated fear. There is no doubt that this situation could not stop our work and the integral formation of our girls and teenagers, so they can play the leading role for a better world. We keep on making big efforts for help them to know how to love and be loved as well.
Thanks to our Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Rosary for accompanying us and giving spiritual support. We love you and we have you in our heart.
Barbarita and Isabel, two former students from the Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Rosary