3 min

You don't have to be very clever to see that the fifth wave of the pandemic will be that of the psychological effects for which there is no universal vaccine. The permanent presence of death, fear, exhaustion, the disappearance of expectations, the impoverishment of so many and the anguish of all will be difficult to deal with in a world and a country where mental health is still a taboo and where public support for this type of illness is clearly insufficient and socially ignored, despite its seriousness.

Our brain is still largely a black box for human knowledge, and sleep disorders, one of its enigmas. We know that today's society has increased the consumption of anxiolytics and we also know that in any environment, difficulties in sleeping are especially evident when it is difficult to put our brain to rest in stormy times. That is why we have dedicated today's dossier to the importance of sleep and we have tried to explain what it is for, what happens when we sleep and, above all, what happens when we do not sleep.

Time to act

We live in turbulent times and there is a general feeling of disorientation that we urgently need to leave behind us by taking a step towards action. We know that the world we have been living in will not serve us and that the coronavirus seems to be the prologue of the climatic catastrophe. If we want a civilised life - sustainable and just - in which growth and well-being are possible without devastation, we have to turn our actions and decisions on small and large scales like a sock. The asphyxiation of lockdown has taught us the value of many things and it depends on our collective intelligence that we do not forget them and that they serve us to have habitable cities, to consume responsibly, and to reduce unbearable inequalities.

The uselessness of Gabilondo

Whether intentions and reflections become facts will depend on each one of us and on electing political leaders capable of acting as transforming elements and not as simple managers overwhelmed by this agonising end of stage. It will depend on denouncing the temptations and populist proposals and combating the dangerous sensation of uselessness that threatens to spread among the moderates, the equanimous, those who do not seek the approval of the enraged masses, those capable of doubting, of extending their hand, of dialoguing with the devil. It is this feeling "of uselessness", as Iñaki Gabilondo explains in his interview in today's newspaper, that has led him to decide that silence is not worth more than words, as Borges said. If journalism is the narrator of the present, Gabilondo has tried to do it during more than 55 years of profession with honesty, the maximum to which one can aspire in this pretentious profession.

In the midst of the environmental noise, of the mob of hatred manipulated with lies in some networks, when politicians have stopped considering that dialogue is the only democratic tool for progress and accept to go around problems without solving them, simply by increasing the destructive capacity of words, the moderates lose their footing and society sinks a little deeper every day, gets stuck in the mud knowing that we are overdiagnosed, but undercapacitated for action. The two Madrids - you know what I mean: Spain within Spain - have become the kingdom of procrastination and a sainete confronting populisms with a bloodthirsty press owned by the banks and a private television wallowing in the mud where the audience is everything and dialogue a betrayal.

Patriotic nightmares

We must also ask ourselves whether Catalonia is on the same path. My answer is that the inability to form a government is terrible news and a lack of respect for the citizens who are experiencing an unprecedented pandemic and economic crisis. There are no excuses. The bills of the past between ERC and Junts are making it difficult to negotiate with the good faith deserved by the citizens, who cannot afford the codes of politics in their private sphere. ERC will have to grow and must be willing to lead reality, which means dealing at the same time with the CUP's maximalisms and Nissan's payrolls. Junts, for its part, is today a party that is difficult to interpret due to its internal currents. In fact, it has yet to decide whether it wants to manage "autonomism", which is what it is today, or whether its card of remaining in the opposition is more than just a bluff to negotiate better.

The alternative to a pro-independence government is unfeasible with a PSC marked by the 155 and which criticises the lack of agreement from the immobility and followership of the PSOE, which always has the sword of Damocles of elections close enough (today Madrid, perhaps later Andalusia) to miss the opportunity to make essential gestures to move forward, such as the pardoning of political prisoners.

Against this backdrop, let's take refuge in reading and visit the bookshops. It will help us sleep.