The Great Snowfall

by Ismael Moreno Serrano

      I have little doubt that we have lived one of the most important meteorological phenomena in recent decades. This time, I would like to take advantage of my experience and write from the point of view of someone who had to work during those days.

      During the first week of January, according to experts, a great snowfall was coming and by following a few steps the aftermaths of this phenomenon would be less damaging than it really were. On Thursday, January 7th, when I started my shift, I knew that the week would be more hectic than a regular week, but for Goodness sake, I could not imagine how difficult work would be under such odd circumstances.

      In the beginning, everything seemed to be going well, people went out in order to play with their children and their pets, whole families shared the time making snowmen, and even there were people who went snowboarding and skiing. Can you believe it? How idyllic! What is more, for some time, people forgot the pandemic that we are suffering. However, in one way or another, everything has its bad side.

      Despite the warnings given, the vast majority of people went out, and with this, problems came up. We received an avalanche of requirements ranging from people falling down and getting hurt, cars trapped, snow accumulated on roofs, to trees that were beginning to fall… A chaos engulfed the city and it was on the verge of collapse. What made matters worse was that, besides the chaos, the low temperatures helped the snow turn to ice, for longer. It was even necessary to enable a place to put up people that could not go back home due to the snow.

      Nevertheless, underneath this horror, I was shocked by the solidarity of society again, as happened in the beginning of the pandemic. The same people who went out to play before, went out to help us and clean the streets during those days, alleviating the lack of foresight and means given by the authorities. I must confess as well, that it has been the most physically demanding week that I have never had. As the roads were completely covered with snow, we had to go from one side to the other carefully.

      During a couple of days we were transporting people who belonged to essential services, people who needed help to go to the hospital and stuff like this. I would like to point out that when our shift was over, the boss congratulated us for doing so well during the whole week, remembering that sometimes our job is worth it.

      Fortunately, the complex situation is returning to normal right now but we should bear in mind that the climate change is a fact. I am not an expert but, pandemics, floods, snowfalls, heat waves… are proof that something is happening. Authorities have to lead the challenge of alleviating this traumatic situation, taking measures promoting energy saving and efficiency and reinforcing the public system because society is going to face more complex problems than ever before.

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