Israel Fuguemann

Journalist & Photographer
   
Letters from a distance
Location: Melilla, Spain & Nador, Morocco
Nationality: Mexican
Biography: Journalist and documentary photographer.  In the last years his work focused on social and environmental themes, especially documenting people and cultures in resistance, and the always more extensive reality of extractivism of raw materials... MORE
Public Story
Letters from a distance
Copyright Israel Fuguemann 2022
Date of Work Apr 2020 - Sep 2020
Updated Sep 2020
Location Mexico City
Topics Covid19, Death, Hospital, México, Pandemic, Siks
Summary
In the midst of the pandemic, misinformation and chaos due to the unknown virus, a couple of families began to send messages that patients dictated to health workers and that they sent to their families. This motivated him to start an exchange of letters that has given certainty to many people, and has even saved their lives.

The COVID-19 pandemic modified the dynamics of communication, transportation, work, and interaction of societies in Mexico and the world but, for patients hospitalized by the virus, all possibilities of contact with their relatives were closed.

The patients that were suspected of suffering from COVID-19 were isolated from the moment they entered the medical units without the certainty of being infected, with the uncertainty of survival, and in total solitude. In the hospital, patients only had contact with medical personnel who, behind a mask and masks, help and treated the sick ones.

Most of them agreed that the cruelest thing about this virus is that patients lost all contact, unable to hug, speak and listen to the people they loved. Jorge (a nurse at a hospital in Mexico City) and his colleagues found a mechanism to alleviate the anguish and the distance between patients and families: letters.

In the midst of the pandemic, misinformation, and chaos due to the unknown virus, a couple of families began to send messages that patients dictated to health workers and that they sent to their families. This motivated him to start an exchange of letters that has given certainty to many people and has even saved their lives.

When we met Jorge, we suggested that the exchange of letters could be expanded to more families so that they would have the opportunity to answer their patients through video letters. This made the contact between the two parties much more powerful and, without a doubt, it was an opportunity to document nothing more and nothing less than love. 
La pandemia por COVID-19 modificó las dinámicas de comunicación, traslado, trabajo e interacción de las sociedades en México y el mundo pero, para los enfermos hospitalizados por el virus, se cerraron todas las posibilidades de contacto con los suyos. 

Los enfermos sospechosos de padecer COVID-19 fueron aislados desde el momento en que ingresaban a las unidades médicas sin la certeza de estar contagiados, con la incertidumbre de la supervivencia y en total soledad. En el hospital, los pacientes sólo tenían contacto con el personal médico quienes, detrás de una careta y cubrebocas, auxiliaban y daban tratamiento a los enfermos. 

La mayoría de ellos coincide en que lo más cruel de este virus es que los pacientes pierden todo contacto, imposibilitados de abrazar, hablar y escuchar a la gente que aman. Jorge (enfermero de un hospital de la Ciudad de México) y sus compañeros encontraron un mecanismo para paliar la angustia y la distancia entre enfermos y familias: las cartas. 

En medio de la pandemia, la desinformación y el caos por el desconocido virus, un par de familias comenzaron a mandar mensajes que los pacientes dictaban a los trabajadores de la salud y que hacían llegar a sus familiares. Esto motivó que comenzara un intercambio epistolar que ha dado certeza a mucha gente, e incluso, les ha salvado la vida. 

Cuando conocimos a Jorge le propusimos ampliar el intercambio a más familias para que éstas tuvieran la oportunidad de contestarle a su paciente a través de video-cartas. Esto volvió mucho más poderoso el contacto entre las dos partes y, sin duda, fue una oportunidad para documentar nada más y nada menos que el amor. 
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Letters from a distance by Israel Fuguemann
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