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The invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin's troops, which has already left 20 days of war and thousands of deaths, relativises the importance and memory of the two years since Spain decreed its state of alarm to combat the expansion of the coronavirus. Up till now a total of 26,748 people in Catalonia are recorded as having lost their lives to Covid-19 and the effect has been so devastating that we still cannot even say that we have completely emerged from the black hole that has left several generations of society under very significant emotional impact. Older people, workers, the young, freelancers, health personnel, teachers, professionals and so many others suffer the consequences of a transformation unprecedented in modern times due to a disease with an unsuspected capacity to spread among humans. The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, across the six waves that it has triggered so far, showed up an unknown vulnerability and one that only the vaccine has eased.

When on March 14th, 2020, Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez​ decreed the state of alarm​ and governments around the world acted to contain the virus, nobody was aware of how far it would turn everything upside down. Coronavirus has changed our lives, from the initial forced confinement in our homes through to all kinds of restrictions on our daily work. Everything has been different from anything seen before and, as always happens, the economic crisis amplified the health effects creating a vicious circle that devastated jobs and made the vast majority of people economically worse-off, with many still not having seen the light at the end of the crisis, but rather being in a process of slow recovery.

The offensive by Russian troops invading Ukraine has automatically caused a media convulsion of such magnitude that it has displaced the attention that there still was on the possibilities of a seventh Covid wave and the fall in the numbers of patients hospitalized and in ICUs. The war is just a few thousand kilometres away, the number of refugees is getting dangerously close to three million people and huge amounts of money will be needed to deal with a human displacement of a scale still unknown. Today, all countries are preparing for everything. Some, because they are on the borders, such as Poland and, others, like Germany, by proximity. But in Catalonia, too, where Ukrainians are arriving at a multitude of cities and towns - it is estimated that about 5,000 have already done so - where all kinds of municipal spaces are being adapted, starting with sports centres. In Barcelona, ​​one of the trade fair pavilions, number 7, with an area of 6,300 square metres, will serve as a day centre for initial reception of refugees, managed by the Red Cross.

Getting used to exceptional situations seems to be something that we need to get used to. We hear about concepts such as "nuclear attack" which very recently were only being used in movies or fictional stories. Today we anxiously follow the electrical stoppage at the Chernobyl nuclear power station and look at the map fearing whether some missile will land in NATO territory and if that would signal the start of World War III. War injects fear into societies so that political discourse is often inflamed by those who should be helping to reducing the tension. Meanwhile, we note, as we did with the coronavirus, that nothing will be the same again.