By Ronald L Oliver
We all have experiences during the last year that leave our mouths gaping to say something when all that comes out is so much hot air. There are simply no words to describe the alienation from everyone and everything that has been experienced by one and all. Therefore, I wrote this story thinking of the somewhat unique nature of this miserable year.
The setting for the story is Colombia, mainly because I know about this country and its different way of seeing. Colombia has been through so much humiliation and scorn due to its well known problems in dealing with illicit drugs, so I figured its response to the virus could be exemplary. I believe it has been and is thus a good setting for the story of Violeta and the Three Monsters.
Colombians have learned that when all else fails, it is time to take the word of public health authorities, as they know what they are doing. It has done just that. I am most proud of their response: it makes good sense and everyone has profited from it. For example, we have worn facemasks from the very beginning of the pandemic here in March 2020, and still do. It makes beautiful sense, but try telling that to someone who knows everything already. Mostly, one is left with one’s mouth open in bewilderment. The name of Violeta came from the illustrator who knows young people and art and flowers, such as violets. When the monsters are known to be invisible it presents a challenge that I am not sure I addressed well enough, but the Illustrator did. My hat is off to her, and her drawings are captivating.