Fernando Simón: I like to be irreverent, the ugly jokes, and now I have to be careful

In the toughest days of the pandemic the daily compartments on television to report data and news showed politicians with face almost not knowing what to say.

Fernando Simón: I like to be irreverent, the ugly jokes, and now I have to be careful

In the toughest days of the pandemic the daily compartments on television to report data and news showed politicians with face almost not knowing what to say. Many passed before the cameras, but whoever captured all the looks to the point of having fan clubs on social networks was Fernando Simón (58). Doctor epidemiologist, he was born in Zaragoza in 1963. Son of psychiatrist Antonio Simón and Mary Luz Soria, he is the second of six brothers. He is married to Maria Romay, "explains in epidemics - and has three children.

As director of the Health Alerts Coordination and Emergencies Center (CCAES) he knew that "at some point he would have to explain things to professionals, colleagues and also to the population" and had the experience of what happened with Ebola. "Then there was a lot of noise, but seeing what has happened now with the Covid, nothing to do," he says.

Then there was already the one who started to know about him. But what is now overcome all the forecasts. "I did not expect it to be known everyone, it's impressive, even outside of Spain, I'm struck by, I appreciate it but it's not nice because you lose your whole private life, and me my private life I like a lot," he confesses A Loc.

He holds the shower as he can, knowing that he has had a great responsibility that it has been sacrifices. Like anyone, Simon had his life. "But now I have to be careful with what I say and I do, with how I move, and I like to be a bit irreverent, I like ugly jokes, saying nonsense, like everyone else, but it is what I have lived, And I imagine that in a few months, when people forget me, I will retrieve my life again. "

That care that has to have comes from that "Everything I say is interpreted in a thousand different ways and normally none of the thousand is the real one. And because people sometimes assume things that I can say as things that are, when many times can be jokes and thank you, or simply colloquial phrases that are said with friends. If there is someone nearby that you can generate bad interpretations. I do not feel bad, because people recognize you what you have done and, in general, it is lovely".

Because, despite having detractors, the truth is that Simon falls well. In part by the aspect of him as to walk around. And possibly because in the appearance of him sometimes I removed iron to the tremendous situation of the pandemic as if he had a kind of close confidence with citizens.

"People are very nice with me, but you also think twice go out because you can not do the things that you want. Every two for three stop me to take a picture, to ask me ... if I go I only endure it, but If I go out with my children, my wife or a friend, why do they have to endure that every twenty meters they stop me? It is what has touched me, you have to accept it and it is already, "he says.

Even Juan Swords, the mayor of Seville and the leader of the PSOE in Andalusia, asked him to take a picture with him when Simon passed through the Andalusian capital to receive the XI Award Emilio Castelar to the defense of freedoms and the progress of the peoples, a Award that grants the progressive association of Spain and that was delivered at the Royal Alcázar de Sevilla last week.

He was Salvador Illa, former Minister of Health, who handed him the award before an auditorium among which Single's wife, María Romay, and that of Illa, Marta Erach, were found. Illa said Simon that he is "a public servant, a person with true vocation, tireless worker, great communicator, team man, with great sense of justice, hints and a great epidemiologist. And a simple man, without folds."

For his part, Simon, who has worked throughout his life in the CCAs with nine ministers, called "my minister" and said the prizes gave them "strength to try to win a battle in which we thought we did not have Weapons and in the end we have had a large vaccine. "

At the end of the act, everyone wanted the photo with him. They have seen t-shirts, mugs, sheets, memes, dolls with their face ... and tattoos. "Yes, everywhere, they even sent me a picture of someone who tattooed my face, I was impressed," laughs.

Almost two years of struggle of those who are not entirely satisfied. "In public health there is always more to do and you could always have done things differently, we have had many deceased, proportionally no more than other countries, but that does not matter, we have had many deceased, many cases, the crowded UCISS , number of people who have suffered a lot ... but you know what we did is probably the best thing that could be done at that time. Once it is knowing what this coronavirus is discovered forms so that in the next pandemic The problem is less ".

There are those who say that the pandemics spend every thirty years. But "it is difficult to predict, we had time talking about the next great pandemic of influenza, which occurred every thirty years, but there may be three in ten years and then spending seventy without any. You have to be very cautious. What I do know is We have learned many things. How to have a better relationship between the different health system legs: hospitality, primary care and public health. With all sectors with which health is related, they are all.

But to achieve "Having healthier humans", you have to go little by little. "When the next pandemic arrives, the perception of risk of crisis threat will be similar to the one we have lived, even if the problem is half a big one, we can not let the population accommodate, because that would make the professionals We will accommodate. "

Exhausted toilets and people triggered in the streets. In fact it seems that there is no longer Covid19. "Spain has shown that it is a country with a greatly solidarity population, we have been vaccinated almost all and we have very few susceptible. The problem is not that people come out and relate, the problem is to go from 0 to 100 at a time" .

But people have gone from 0 to 100. "That is the problem, I hope it does not happen invoice. During these almost two years people have behaved more exceptionally. There are population groups that are tired and I understand that the People make it feel like going out, but I would prefer that it was slower, so we could see the impact of each step we give. "

If Fernando Simón has been able to resist all this time with the five senses placed on the pandemic has been largely thanks to his family. "She has been the one who has done that he managed to stay there. He has supported me a lot, if not, he had not endured." And not a word more about it. He prefers to keep it on the margin.

Behind the media face we saw daily there is a "very broad in everything. For example, I like to eat everything, especially the tertrenco of my land." Although he assures reading also of everything he likes a lot "the novels that have a little action, and good essays." He is usually seen in caspe since boy, he likes motorcycles, and throughout his life he has practiced several sports from a child "but for about fifteen years he practiced climbing, he has hooked me," he says.

His profession led him to live in different countries of Latin America, Europe and Africa. "I'm Spanish and I'm proud to be, but I'm nothing chauvinist, all sites have very good things and unfortunately everyone has some bad".

Your project for when the pandemic is over? "Sleep, sleep and sleep".

The sudden popularity of Fernando Simón has also affected his family and especially his wife, María Romay Barja (55), journalist and Galician researcher specialized in the field of epidemiology and public health. Simon's daily appearances shot the searches about the family, especially since he appeared in Jesus Calleja's program and counted some anecdotes. For example, he met Mary at the parties of the people of her and that she and the three children of her -guille (24), María Josefa (22) and Marcos (20) -the fame of she.

María comes from a well-known Galician family. Ella's maternal grandfather, Juan Barja, lawyer and military, was Head of General Staff of General Mola and leader of a Falangist militia. The paternal family of her also has a military tradition. The father of her, Carlos Romay, was captain of the armed forces and one of her uncles, Ignacio, is general.

In the family there is another illustrious name, that of José Manuel Romay Beccaría, Minister of Health with José María Aznar.

The death of his father in the act of service in 1969, he created a special bond with his brothers and with his mother, María Josefa, whom María dedicated her doctoral thesis. María She ran into her in the neighborhood of the Star of Madrid and studied journalism in the complutense, although she never exercised, except for a brief period of practices in the business gazette. She directed her steps towards cooperation and development planning in several countries of Africa and Latin America before we definitely recurring with her husband and her children in Madrid.

Expert in tropical diseases, since 2007 works at the Carlos III Health Institute, where he has developed a prestigious career.

Updated Date: 15 October 2021, 23:06

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