The COVID-19 pandemic has generated a huge world crisis, with very serious human consequences: deaths, suicides, stress, trauma, physical and subjective suffering, fears, uncertainties, family separations, among others, only comparable to the aftermath of the Second World War as some statesmen and intellectuals maintain worldwide. This pandemic has implied the need for compulsory physical distancing of millions of human beings as a preventive measure, but this has brought with it the paralysis of economic activities, the loss of family income, the impossibility of transferring to workplaces and class attendance in all educational levels, the closing of shops and services, the loss of jobs, the reduction of public transport and the closing of borders in many countries, among others.
COVID-19 has shown the enormous fragility of human life, as well as of political systems, the economy, markets and institutions. But it has also shown the value of solidarity, social responsibility, life in common, the irreplaceable place of the State as guarantor of rights and social protection, the importance of public investment in health, social services, science and technology, housing, education, justice, among others. As Pope Francis has pointed out: “No one is saved alone” and in this sense the only vaccine we currently have is responsibility and solidarity at all levels and areas.
In this same sense, as World President of the International Federation of Social Workers I want to make a fervent call to national and transnational Telecommunications Companies, appealing to Public Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility, calling on them to free the domain of the educational and government websites of the different countries, so that millions of human beings, especially those with fewer resources, teachers, students and retirees, can freely access these sites to cope with the physical distancing, being communicated, having information, accessing basic health and social services, being able to work, continue studying, ask for help, have containment spaces, among others.
As a Social Worker and President of an International Organization representing millions of Social Workers, I have an obligation to ensure better living conditions for all, the democratization of resources, greater rights and equal access to indispensable goods and services. At this time of serious humanitarian crisis, free and open access to educational and government websites is undoubtedly an essential basic service for social life and the care of human life.
I want to deeply thank all the Social Workers who are on the front lines working in many different places and areas, the personnel of the health services, social services, cleaning services, public transport, food producers, social communicators, security personnel and Scientists, who are working day and night to take care of us, feed us, prevent the virus from spreading, discover a vaccine against the virus, contain the sick and the relatives of the deceased, keep citizens informed, work with the popular sectors in communities, keeping public spaces clean and many other valuable and heroic tasks in these times of crisis.
I have no doubt that the Telecommunications Business Owners will assume this commitment of solidarity with the most vulnerable and will join those who are giving their best at this moment and putting their own lives and that of their families at risk in order to care for and protect the lives of others.
Dr. Silvana Martínez
President International Federation of Social Workers