Last Sunday the American journal The New York Times published a cover with a long list of the people that have died from COVID-19 in the United States. Their goal was to dimension the incalculable loss of lives in our neighboring country, which without a doubt, caused a lot of reactions, being the most relevant the lack of empathy from people and, of course, politicians.

So far, the number of deceased people in the world due to COVID-19, exceeds 98 thousand and, at this rate, in a few days it could exceed 100 thousand, which is clearly a tragedy. The lack of empathy toward this tragedy can no be understood, because throughout history there has been similar episodes where people have reacted in a very different way; such as the Chernobyl nuclear power plan’s accident, which is estimated to have killed around 4 thousand victims, or the 9/11 attacks in the United States, in which 2,996 people lost their lives.

A lack of world leadership is also added. Each country has faced this situation with its own strategy, eliminating any chance for joint action to stop the spread of the virus. Consequently, this lack of coordination could cause its spread to continue. Additionally, at this time, a strong leadership would help to provide stability and direction, however, there seems to be more interest assigning blame, rather than organizing a common front. It is not necessary to say any names since this countries’ leaders have been singled out by the local and international press for their lack of action.

In Mexico’s case, empathy is also needed to understand the suffering of those who have been affected and who currently are in a delicate state of health, and to comprehend the real magnitude of the problem. The number of deaths in the country have exceeded the initial forecast, because there are already 7,600 deaths. Without a doubt, the lack of empathy is causing great social damage.

All families are suffering, and we must be aware that this could happen to anyone, it could be our family, neighbors, or acquaintances. Recently, a tragic case of a family living in Mexico City was disclosed, whose five members -father, mother, and three children- died of coronavirus in the hospital. Faced with this type of event, we should be more empathetic and since every life counts.

Finally, regarding the lack of empathy, it is necessary to remind politicians that, at this moment, they must be sensitive towards the population’s claims and to forget political issues; as in Aguascalientes, where they celebrated the fact that infections increased, arguing that the more infections the greater the immunity. Given these unfortunate statements, politicians must understand that this should not be taken lightly, as thousands of front-line workers are risking their lives every day. Anyway, there is no empathy.


* Arturo Ávila Anaya, IBN/B Analitycs President and National Security Expert by Harvard (NIS).