When tragedy strikes, we try to find refuge in our familiar surroundings, our family and friends. We can?t help thinking it will be like that time on the news when the poor kid we didn?t even know died of cancer. Or when some distant natural disaster buried the fragile hopes and dreams of thousands of people under tons of rubble. Other people, not us. Maybe these things activate some type of biological sensor in our brains to keep us from feeling fear.
It all happened so quickly. We didn?t realize it. Or, if we did, we never lifted a finger to stop it. But that was when we, the people, after decades of being fooled by dishonest leaders, faded away without a whimper?at least for a time.
They were the men who were supposed to protect us, shielded by democracy, the politicians spoiled by the money they had reaped from the sweat of the people; it was they who were the first to abandon Spain.
We all knew. From the moment they brought the Spanish missionary with Ebola back from Africa to Madrid, we knew.
We didn?t say a word. Like always. We kept silent, afraid that Europe would treat us like merciless animals for abandoning one of our own to certain death. Or maybe we said nothing in a futile attempt to prove ourselves to be different than we actually were, once again showing how useless our government was.
So, this was how it happened in Spain.
Millions of us were in our homes having dinner with our families when it happened. That day was the beginning of the end.