Gerard Garcia studied in Barcelona and in Maastricht. He currently works at CoverWallet (New York), an insurtech that allows insurance to be purchased digitally from small and medium-sized companies.
What would you highlight of the management that the New York crisis has made?
York It was slow to react despite the news from China and Europe, but once with the virus in the city, the response was very fast. Both the mayor and the governor created plans with private companies to start importing medical supplies quickly and efficiently, mobilized resources to organize hospitals on the deserted streets of the city, and managed to give up to three meals to all those in greatest need.
The curve of infected and deceased in the state of New York speaks for itself: while the country has not yet seen a reassuring decline, it seems that we are experiencing a different situation here. So much so, that New Yorkers are defining themselves Cuomosexual, in reference to popular liking and leadership by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
How has the management of Barcelona been seen from your city?
Initially there was a lot of talk about Barcelona for being one of the epicenters of the virus in Europe. With some envy, the accessibility of the Spanish healthcare system was discussed, compared to American healthcare, where bills can amount to thousands of dollars. Various references have also been made to the economic impact that Covid-19 could have in the European countries that suffered the most from the 2008-12 crisis, the so-called PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain), since they are countries with a large presence in the tourism sector, one of the most affected.
As the pandemic advanced to the United States, the focus shifted and focused on the country. The subsequent references to Europe have been to observe the examples of the actions that have worked and those that have not, thus having indications on management.
Proposal for Barcelona
Barcelona has reacted with initiatives that have allowed resources to reach first-line hospitals and medical personnel, those most in need in this crisis. Aid has been offered to self-employed and affected families and the citizen response has been exemplary at all times.
Now it is time to lose the fear of the virus and, to do so, Barcelona will have to promote more street activities, cultural initiatives and find solutions for restaurants, controlling crowds and ensuring social distancing. We will get used to not seeing our faces, covered by masks, and we will look for the typical affection of our culture in gestures and words, thus avoiding contact. This should be accompanied by government incentives for companies to rehire workers. Thus, little by little, we will gain traction to shine again.