The hashtag #stayhome is trendy on twitter and Instagram, and for reasons of great importance. Until a few weeks ago the #streetfood hashtag was trendy for other reasons. Traveling, strolling, and having the opportunity to try different things from the hand of people specialized in their own, although this workforce is sometimes undervalued.
On the one hand, we venerate them and on the other, we look away at the fact that they are always a population with few or no labor rights, with intense working hours and with earnings that do not allow them to live much beyond day by day. Let’s be aware that the majority of people who do this type of business are the ones who do and will suffer the most from the economic effects of the pandemic.
While social distancing is extremely necessary in order not to collapse health systems, many people’s alternative is not to eat.
An article was published in La Vanguardia where a resident in New Delhi talks about this conflict between the population of India. Where the small local markets were closed, a difference from the large supermarkets that have been allowed to continue selling. Or another one where a family talks about their situation in Zimbabwe, where they wonder if they will starve to death rather than COVID-19.
And my heart twists with sadness when I think of Mexico in all the people who are on the street every day, delighting us with some food, call it tamales, traditional sweets, the list is as big as they are enormous, an article by El Pais mentioned in Mexico are about 30 million people in this situation. All this without counting the people who have “garbage” contracts in which they can be dispensed with overnight.
Unfortunately, we will witness a severe global economic recession, with an increased risk of malnutrition. We will be able to see the evolution of this correlation between virus and famine on this map created specifically for it.
I believe that the pandemic shows inadequate systems and gives us one more opportunity to reflect and, once the health crisis is over, they can fight for a more equal world for those who feed us, our producers, vendors, cooks …
Not everything is lost!
For now, while the crisis lasts, what we can do is try to contribute with institutions and NGOs that have the mission of closing this gap. You can donate at the local Food Bank or in institutions you know. If you don’t know where you can search here: