I'm so used to sitting in front of my computer and talking with everybody around the world that I feel like these people, behind their usernames and avatars and profile photos, are sitting on the other side of my office.
When everything started, I thought about my colleagues in China. The P.M.s of the agencies that I work for, in their lives, and at the same time, when I read posts on international groups, I noticed that this anguish was not felt only by me. Other translators of other language pairs shared the same pounding in their chests, the same anguish: a colleague of ours could have been exposed as if it were us in our chairs behind our computer screens.
And the situation kept on progressing. For each affected country, more colleagues were at risk, and the greater was the knots in my throat, the pounding in my chest, this feeling of powerlessness facing the unknown, so invisible and, at the same time, overwhelming.
As a translator, I cannot stop on my tracks. I cannot let the panic freeze me. I have the mission, through my language pair, of conveying the information that is needed for decisions to be made, of carrying over the emotions the author wants to evoke in the reader, and the point of view that needs to be understood to amplify the debate. I have to contribute with our crossing of this storm and preventing the dark and abyssal waters from engulfing the boat.
I am so used to living in a world where we coexist as if we were a community. People I have never seen in person, but for whom I worry as if they were my street neighbors. The P.M. from India who knows me for several years. The P.M. in Brazil with whom I discuss our country’s politics. The P.M. in the USA, who sent me an email with suggestions on how to perfect that specific phrase in my marketing campaign. The other P.M. in India, who sent me a beautiful message for Women's Day. The agency owner in the USA with whom I talk about our beliefs and our families.
I am here. You can count on me. We are standing, facing this squall. We will weather this storm and we will come out stronger. We will anchor on the other shore when everything calms down.
You can count on me.
I am here.