An Actual Plague Wouldn’t Have Required a Government Response
“I wanted to stay put in Colombia to build a better future for my daughter, but we have to go back.” Those are the words of Nelson Torrelles to Wall Street Journal reporter John Otis. As Otis reported in the August 31 edition of the Journal, the “haggard and hungry” Torrelles along with his wife and 5-year old daughter are walking back to Venezuela on a Colombian highway.
They’d initially moved to Colombia to escape Venezuela’s [sanctioned] socialist hellhole, only for Torrelles to get a job as a waiter at a barbecue restaurant in Bogota. But when Colombia joined much of the rest of the alarmed world in shutting down its economy in March in response to the coronavirus, Torrelles lost his job and soon enough the family apartment that he couldn’t make rent on. Hard as it may be to imagine for those of us lucky enough to live in the United States, the hungry Torrelles and his family are moving back to Venezuela.
Please stop and think about this for a minute. Please stop and imagine the pain Torrelles is in. It surely extends well beyond hunger. Imagine not being able to adequately provide for your family, including a daughter too young to understand that your failures are largely beyond your control. Words don’t begin to describe what Torrelles must be going through, nor can someone lucky enough to be in the United States understand just how awful things must be for Torrelles and his family.
About the coronavirus shutdowns, this column wil
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