Dare to Dream in Pandemic Times

We have to, we must.

Sabrina Dias (left) and colleague Boniface Shuuli in Ngara,Tanzania

Outbreak.  Pandemic.  The world halting.  How do I feel? Where do I feel it in my body?  What wants to break out of me?  What I really want to say is, I would like the world to stop spinning. To reverse its rotation. And to go back to December.

No, that’s not true. I don’t want that at all.  Why would I want to go back to 2019?

We needed to stop. We needed the tipping point before now.

We needed to wake up years ago. To see ourselves and to see each other. To connect with ourselves and with each other. Something needed to give.

Immediate satisfaction. Fast fashion. Disposable smartphones. Human trafficking. Child labour. Modern slavery. Climate gambling. Mass refugee migration. Fake news. Cyber attacking. Instant messaging.  Online bullying….

Sabrina Dias, MineAfrica March 2020 during PDAC week in Toronto – Moderator (with microphone), Bertrand Montembault, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Social distancing was already happening to us. We stopped caring about each other. We stopped seeing our collective whole; instead, we saw only our individual desires.

My heart feels heavy for the fire we must now walk through together. We must. My hands feel stiff from the tension of searching for others to walk with. Will we have enough of us? Will we build an army of Hope and Decency to create a new world in 2021? And who, and how many, must we lose on this journey?

I desperately miss my grandmother. A feeling that directly contradicts my selfish gratitude that she is no longer here to suffer through this crisis. This catastrophe. This painful transformation of our civilization.

She was an elder. My elder. The elder. Every word she spoke was strength, wisdom, and assurance. We need our elders.

My favourite people are old. Did I ever tell you that? Several years ago, I met a 92-year-old gentleman on the Yonge subway line. He wore a hat and carried a cane. I make it a habit to never talk to anyone on the subway, but we spoke for nine stops. He rode the Yonge subway every day to have his coffee and pastry at a downtown café. Every day. I loved him immediately like he was my own grandpa, and I still regret not ditching my appointment to join him for a coffee and pastry that day, for more time with this gentle elder.

We will lose these wise souls. The ones who relish subway rides and pastries, who read real books while commuting, and sneeze into their handkerchiefs. I love old people. I miss my old people. We need our old people.

Some may feel a virus that targets the old and the vulnerable is a good virus or a ‘not so bad’ virus. They are wrong. A ‘good virus’ is one that takes the assholes, the rapists and the pedophiles, the abusers, the Trumpers and the Koch Brothers, the dictators, the racists, the misogynists, the polluters, the sport hunters, the ocean dumpers, the cruise ship operators, the drug lords, the gang leaders, the road ragers, the fucker who hit my first car and didn’t even leave a note…

Now that would be a ‘good virus.’

The only good that can come from this virus is what we make of this moment. If we can emerge from this social isolation, joining hearts, holding hands, walking towards Hope and Decency.

Rant over (for now).

Love Sabrina Dias

Sabrina Dias is the founder and CEO of Soop Strategies


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