#2 Kira Alvarez, Editor in Chief of Marie Claire Mexico (Mexico)
About quarantine and postpartum similarities.
I’ve been here before. The isolation, the fatigue, the multitasking, the fear of the unknown, the struggle to stay mentally sane and healthy, skipping meals and showers, the tears from sleep deprivation followed by episodes of anxiety, everyone asking for the baby and no one for the mother. Yes, I’ve been here before, COVID quarantine feels a lot like postpartum.
It’s been three weeks of self-isolation with just my one and half-year-old baby, and it’s like a throwback to when we first met. I didn’t have much help during the first two months, as my boyfriend was only able to take 10 days off from work. So it was mostly just the two of us. And here we are again. The nanny left to be with her own family, his dad is away on a mission in Tanzania with Doctors Without Borders, while both our families are self-quarantined at their homes. Some days I feel like a failure: pajamas 24/7, pizza for dinner, plopping him in front of a screen so I can answer emails, piles of dirty dishes… When he naps I can either take a shower, eat or approve layouts. No Netflix marathons, piles of books or self-care time for me.
Besides being a mom, I’m the Editor-In-Chief of Marie Claire Mexico. Sure, singing “Baby Shark” non-stop was not on the job description, but I feel so fortunate to be complaining from such privilege. In our country, a lot of people live hand to mouth, in one small room with all their family members. For more than half the population, working from home or self-isolation is not even a possibility. Then there is also the danger of ignorance: in some states, people are threatening to burn hospitals down if they offer treatment to COVID patients. Even in big cities, nurses riding a public bus will be asked to leave by the other passengers, and often sprayed with Clorox. In another city, a doctor was asked to move out of his apartment because neighbors were afraid of getting infected.
What worries me most is the economic and social crisis that will follow. Unemployment, the rise of violence, bankruptcy, global recession… COVID has put us to test, forcing us to stop being self-centered and take on our responsibility alongside the rest of the world. Let’s take action from where we stand and unite as a whole. It’s about time.