If people can’t be trusted to comply with a simple ‘no bonfire’ rule, how can they be expected to take any notice of social distancing? | Peter Clover

With the promise of a lighter lockdown looming on the horizon and the possibility of a
return to some form of normality, there have been announcements that local fiestas, ‘in
some form’, have been planned with a social distancing protocol in place! Surely not! Has
the presence of this virulent Covid19 virus sent some Majorcans quite mad?

At a time when a majority of us are only just starting to feel confident enough to
face stepping outside the front door, how can there possibly be a pending return to any
kind of fiesta, in ANY form, in the possible near future?

I am quite aware that fiestas in Majorca play a huge role in the lives of the local
people, covering not only an entertainment value but boosting the local economy of bars
and restaurants whilst keeping local customs and traditions alive. And it’s common
knowledge that the Majorcans like nothing better than a heaving feria or a raucous, beer
swigging knees up amidst a furor of shouting, jigging and twirling to the sound of loud
music, generally forgetting all their troubles in a crowded, cheek to jowl scenario. Phew!
I’m out of breath just thinking about it let along constructing the actual sentence!

Therefore, as a Mediterranean culture, which through history has thrived on the
habitual custom of outside living and ritual celebration, I suppose it should be expected
that a certain mentality will believe that Covid19 will be beaten by holding some form of
annual fiesta! Let’s just hope that it’s all just a mind-numbing, stupid idea that is being
floated by disillusioned planners and will NEVER come to fruition.

Of course, everyone likes a bit of a party atmosphere. And yes! Majorcans will
hold a fiesta at the drop of an olive. But NO! You can’t really socially distance in a
throbbing crowd. Or limit the mobs at a Rock Night and expect the law abiding youths
who frequent these fun-filled fiascos to drink sensibly at a distance!

Even during this past week with people allowed out for brief exercise, the reports
have already been coming in of people forgetting the importance of social distancing.
Although many really try to respect the protocol and government advice, some
individuals just don’t seem to care! Some simply forget, or get over excited when they
see a friend or relative. So imagine a combination of all reasons and excuses, and tell me that any organised event involving crowds of people (the official specified numbers seem to vary from day to day) in an open-air venue accompanied by music, drinking, and traditional dancing or whatever, will have participants keeping respectably apart?

Oh! Then add to that mix, a wild herd of over-excited screaming children who have been
locked up in isolation for months, and tell me this idea is nothing more than a recipe for
total disaster!

Have the planners and organizers behind this outrageous idea really thought
about the long term consequences? I know there are hard hearted revelers who are
desperate for a fiesta, but in my opinion, all such events and group celebrations should be
put on serious hold until we can totally ‘trust’ those who attend to respect and behave
sensibly, without a constant and permanent police presence to uphold the protocol.

No-one wants an even remote return of a ‘Franco’ regime, yet oddly enough,
people did actually stick to, and obey the dictator’s fascist footprint, even though it was
adhered to more through fear of consequence than respect! So surely, isn’t the
consequence of spreading the deadly Covid19 virus enough to bring people to their
senses? It’s one thing to want our lives back to how they were before. But it won’t come
any quicker through reckless proposals encouraging idiotic behaviour. I am still waiting
with baited breath to see how café culture will resume within the suggested protocol
currently being put out by the government!

I’m not even thinking about mingling with fellow Majorcans at the moment,
although I dream about life and all the things we did back in the good old days, only a staggering few months ago!

We are being instructed to wear masks when we go out, and shop assistants are
supposed to wear both gloves and masks during the process of lifting lockdown,
particularly where food products are involved. But not everyone is doing this! One of our
neighbours even told me she was laughed at when she went out shopping wearing a
mask. Some local attitude is very upsetting and hardly encouraging, so how can we really
have confidence in people’s behaviour at any proposed fiesta or feria?

April 31 was supposed to be the last legal day on the island for lighting a garden
bonfire until the resumed date of October 15, yet all around me, every day, I still see
large bonfires being lit with their choking smoke filling the air and filling my house throughout the day and night. Thoughtless individuals bank up their fires to burn through
the night so you can’t even open the windows for any much needed fresh air!

Again, a thoughtless flouting of the rules by individuals with the same mind set as the covidiots who are all simply a law unto themselves! What is the point of having any protocol if it is blatantly and continually ignored?

We are all living through a terribly stressful time at the moment. Covid19 is a
global pandemic which is affecting every single person on the planet, not only here in
Majorca. It is wonderful news that restrictions are slowly being lifted and relaxed, but the virus hasn’t gone away by any means. It’s also a wonderful thought to have a fiesta to take the edge off things. But seriously, no party is ever worth dying for!

And if people can’t be trusted to comply with a simple ‘no bonfire’ rule, how can they be expected to take any notice of social distancing when caught up in the elation and excitement of a local fiesta?

Fiesta planners – PLEASE RE-THINK! Don’t let your passion for a party become a wrecking ball! Stay safe! But above all, stay sensible!