It’s been a few days since Romanians stopped wearing masks. Literally speaking, we have finally been told that such protection is no longer necessary, even though the hospitals are still full of sick people. The pandemic is not over, but a greater evil has appeared at the borders of our country, an evil we would hopefully never meet face to face: war.
Terrible as it sounds and can be felt in the images broadcast 24 hours a day on all the TV stations, the war in the neighbouring country has produced an unprecedented, totally unexpected outcome: Romanians stopped wearing masks in their daily lives and started showing their true colours.
Most of us started showing kindness, courage, devotion to a cause- helping the Ukrainian refugees with everything that is possible, from food and clothes to shelter. Many people drove to the borders with trucks full of blankets, diapers for babies, boots and scarves, anything they might need. Volunteers stood there night and day to offer the refugees a cup of hot tea after a long wait in the dreary cold winter, a warm embrace and words that needn’t be understood, only felt. Interpreters were ready to help with translations and advice. Kids received a new toy and chocolate that brought a smile to their faces as the best reward. Many people have shared their homes with total strangers, people with whom they can only communicate in sign language. But what need is there for a common language when humanity is all that matters?
School children have donated books and crayons to their less fortunate siblings. They gave shelter to the pets those children couldn’t leave behind. They wrote short letters that other volunteers translated into Ukrainian so as to convey their feelings of brotherhood to those whose lives were shattered. They warmly received them into their schools.
What have we learnt? There are so many good people among us whom we have never known. There are deep sentiments we haven’t been aware of inside each of us, springing out, making us show our true soul. There are people able to lend a helping hand in spite of not having much themselves. There can be friendship beyond nationalities and different languages. In the darkest times, humanity will prevail.