“If the virus doesn’t kill us, sadness will”

In Spain, associations are trying to fight against the growing isolation of older retirees, faced with the restrictions imposed to fight the pandemic.

María Yéboles was widowed at 57 years old. Today she is 89 and she continues to fight. Before, it was for her widowhood pension, now she fights so that women of her age do not stay at home, alone, isolated, frightened by the virus, sick with sadness.

María, president of the Association of Widows of Zamora, in the north-west of the country, says:

A few days ago at midnight a friend called me and she said to me: ‘María, I’m very scared, I feel very bad, it’s been three months since I set foot outside.’ She told me that her daughter would not let her go out for fear that she would be infected. So I called her daughter and said to her: ‘Either you take your mother for a walk tomorrow, or I’m doing it!’ No, but that’s enough… I know they are doing it to protect us, but they are wrong. We are adults, we are not stupid. ”

María and her friends are part of a very large category of the population. Out of 47 million Spaniards, almost 20%, or 9 million, are over 65 years old. Of that number, over 2 million live alone – mostly women.

A world “become hostile”

The scourge of the virus and containment measures are also destroying the world these people had built for themselves, with a fierce desire to live.

Some take it with philosophy, like Guillermo García, a former civil guard from La Palma del Condado, near Huelva, Andalusia:

I’m 87 and i was five


Pablo Ordaz

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Founded in 1976, six months after Franco’s death, “Le Pays” is the most widely read newspaper in Spain. It belongs to the Spanish publishing group Prisa. At the end of 2013, elpais.com launched two new editions for its readers in Latin America, featuring


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