WHAT'S ESSENTIAL?


I was going to talk about something else today, but just couldn’t avoid feeling conflicted by the latest Decree published last night in reference to the necessary measures to be taken in Spain due to the Pandemic, by which everybody must stay home, except for those who work in any essential sector.

What the heck is an essential sector? Who defines what’s essential or not?

According Cambridge Dictionary, an essential industry is “considered necessary for a nation's economy and that may be protected or supported by the government.” The International Labor Office, a United Nations agency, on the other hand, makes distinctions between an essential service and a minimum service”; mentioning as essential services the hospital sector, electricity services, water supply services, police and the armed forces, firefighting services, public or private prison services, provision of food, and air traffic control.

Source: International Labor Organization, Freedom of association - Digest of decisions and principles of the Freedom of Association Committee of the Governing Body of the ILO. Fifth (revised) edition, 2006.

I think we get a pretty clear idea. But then, why not just present a detailed list like this one in the Decree? Don’t you think it would keep us from asking ourselves so many questions? And preventing reporters and journalists to do the same?

In spite of learning who must go to work and who must stay home, let’s go back to what we have crystal clear: the healthcare sector, and honor them for their devotion, and sacrifice.

In the end, no matter what the answer is, to all those who have been on the front line, THANK YOU!

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