I have been writing a daily letter to all Sollerweb Facebook readers. It started as the Pandemic started and was due to stop when the nightmare was all over. Guess what?
Sixteen months later and the letters from Soller are still going strong.
The best estimates say that I might be still writing them in six months’ time. I will give up the daily obligation when restrictions end – that’s a promise!
Stories of a pandemic
Social media is focussing on lessons learned and experiences gained. One lady who was visiting us, told of her life in Leeds. She had just taken early retirement and her husband was furloughed from his job. They decorated their house, sorted the garden and got to know their neighbours really well. She said she had a ‘great lockdown.
Another man in the same conversation said that his grandson was born in the Pandemic and their daughter and son-in- law were living with them. He was overjoyed to have had the opportunity to be around for so much of this special time. Some very positive, happy people who had just delighted in experiencing this unique time in their way.
Then there was this contribution from a UK local councillor currently on holiday in Soller. ‘I’ve learned a lot over the last 16 months, but the piece that hit me hardest is how the pandemic just drove an even greater divide between those who ‘have’ and those who ‘don’t have’ in our society.
Our most vulnerable populations, whether they be front-facing essential workers, the elderly, those in rural settings, or persons with medical or mental health or addictions-related challenges, they were the groups that suffered the most and remain most at-risk with the pandemic going forward. Those divides are even greater now than they were pre-pandemic.’
The Balearic experience broadly divides up in the same way. Those without money worries living in a large enough space fared best. All the rest were in the same trouble whether they lived in London, Leeds, Palma or Soller.
An interesting phenomena
It would have been my hope that this discussion was just referring to the past and that we are now moving to a better place. This is just not the case as we enter a brand new Covid season. The whole of Europe will have to have an agreed plan, the division of rules between countries which have no sea borders is just rubbish. One land mass must equal one solution. Where is the EU voice when we need it?
The Covid seasonality is an interesting phenomena as we try to squeeze into a toothpaste tube of financial benefit. We will cope with whatever and reject lockdown ideas for just as long as we can squeeze one more euro out of it. When the borders come clanging down, we will run for cover, and apologise for not closing down sooner.
A year in the life of a crisis has taught us much about our coping mechanisms and the human spirit. Leisure wear, no bra and working from home in your curlers. All wonderful images to take into the next season.
A very rocky week
Meanwhile back in the Soller Valley we can do nothing except react to whatever the situation throws at us. Cancellations, refunds, rebooking, disappointment is the vocabulary of the week. Those who have been back at work for a month are now faced with another looming ERTE situation.
The debts of the past year sit there, and the banks make their opening hours even shorter. They don’t even want to talk to people about their financial issues anymore. Make an appointment and then the ‘computer will say no’ is the message.
The message of this very rocky week is to start at the beginning when Lockdown was young. We watched TV, played board games, made jigsaws and learned how to Zoom. We didn’t realise we were learning new life skills ready to take into years 2 & 3. All that extra cooking and expanding waistlines were all part of the experience.
The news will break in the coming days of which corner we are about to turn to the next phase. In the meantime, the world can still tune in to the daily Covid world of Sollerweb.