How did he get infected? Reckless? Did we do the right thing? Among the aftermath of COVID-19, a less visible one mortifies the sick and family members: guilt, which has become more evident in Mexico with the dramatic uptick in deaths.
The country is paying a lethal fed bill, among other causes, for a dozen end-and-start celebrations.
January was the deadliest month in nearly a year of pandemic, with 32,729 deaths. The authorities say that the 60% of contagions happened in home meetings.
Mexico, of 126 million inhabitants, accumulates almost 174 thousand death, a spiral that continues to grow in February with about 15,000 casualties.
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Although sore by her sister’s death, a retired teacher tries to get the family forget the resentments.
They believe she was infected by a person who risked going to a New Year’s party while waiting for the results of a test.
«There were few of them, but one (of the guests) was a suspect case, the test was done and waited for the results by January. But for not being left alone, she didn’t say anything. It infected everyone,» the woman told the Afp under anonymity.
«I tell my niece (teen) to forget grudges, that nothing will give back to his mother, to look forward«Adds.
In her consultation, Francesca Caregnato, a psychotherapist and tanatologist, has found that guilt sometimes becomes an overwhelming burden.
Contagion or death opens up a range of questions, reproaches and the search for perpetrators. Who brought the virus? Was it necessary for me to go out?
«When there’s a loss it’s complicated for the family don’t point or point. It’s a very heavy fault, but pointing out doesn’t help in the grieving process,» he says.
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On December 28, famed Mexican bolerista Armando Manzanero died after catching his birthday party. His age, 86, and diabetes aggravated the disease.
«I see the picture with 30 people, without water covers and say, ‘What an irresponsible thing’! (…) He gave everyone there COVID,» Juan Pablo Manzanero, son of the artist, told the newspaper Reform.
Caregnato suggests not losing perspective in cases where the virus is only a «trigger» of age deaths or chronic ills.
Remorse also harasses outside the family sphere.
«I’m leaving very sad because I feel like I was to blame,» says the note left by a domestic worker in the early morning, after learning that the five family members she worked for had become infected.
She had become infected after visiting her father, sick with the virus, on New Year’s Eve.
«I know it wasn’t intentional, that sometimes you don’t even know how you get it, but yes, it gave me courage, I talked about it a lot with COVID,» says Penelope Gutierrez, a 36-year-old lawyer that that domestic worker worked for.
«I paid her extra not to use public transportation, I told her that if she or someone in her family felt bad, she wouldn’t come, she kept paying her,» recalls Gutierrez, who spent a week hospitalized with her mom.
Related to this: Mexico exceeds 174 thousand deaths by COVID; there are 64,477 active cases
Another family, which lost Grandpa and a woman, and in which five more people were infected, still wonders if it was right to take her to a public hospital, overflowing with patients.
The old man died a day after developing symptoms. «He didn’t suffer,» says one son.
But the woman spent a month intubated until the heart couldn’t resist. «He was aggravated by an intrahospital infection. My brother (widower) asks, ‘What if he’d gone with his usual doctor?'» he adds.
Talking about loss helps heal guilteither with people close to him or in therapy, Caregnato explains.
«It is a relief, it allows to connect with the emotions and actions that have been taken. And in therapy, through the questions I ask, the idea is that the other can find answers,» he says.
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