Week two of lockdown Soller and the new regime is kicking in. The interpretations are different for everyone and cause arguments and even the police being called to arbitrate. The issue seems to be that even if you are allowed to pop out for a bit of local shopping every day- should you? In village life the elderly live in this way normally and shop daily for their needs. It is all part of their routine to chat with the shopkeeper and anyone else they meet on the way. The older people are said to be the most vulner-able so there is a school of thought to say they really shouldn't go out at all and their shopping should be taken to them.
The nightly gathering on balconies to clap with the back-drop of La Balanguera is involving so much now. People bring out their instruments to play along and the connection with the neighbourhood is made every evening. This is all done in gratitude for the work being done by the medical staff and all who work to keep food deliveries and essential services going.
Where to shop has become a huge debate as Soller does not have any large reasonably priced supermarkets. Shopping local is expensive and in normal life most people shop in the outlying shopping districts towards Palma. The road blocks by the police to check where you are going and how many people you have in the car is not always giving consistant answers.. 'Can I leave Soller and drive to Alcampo?' is the question and the official answer is yes as long as you only have the driver in the car. Occasionally you will find a policeman who turns you back and says that is not the case. Social media kicks off on that one but at heart most people accept that local should be their first choice.
The Soller Valley has a big heart and the provision of support for each other and all the groups is evident on social media. Our biggest problem would be if the internet went down. Balconies are displaying the rainbow drawings of all the local children working at home now. Teachers are keeping online lessons going and most families are complying.
Our family had an airport collection on Saturday. British Airways had two planes flying into take away many of the stranded UK residents currently on the island. They arrived almost empty and some of us managed to get family members on those outward flights from Gatwick. The experience was one of a very different arrival than they have ever had before. Staff in full protective clothing met the flight and took them on a bus to be processed. This involved health questions and full scrutiny of all documents. The only people allowed in were residents with all papers in order. A scene from Dr Who was how one friend reported it.
The big question on everyone's lips is about the true numbers of people affected by the virus. On Friday two people were taken to hospital from Puerto Soller and a full disinfectant team turned up to clean the area around their house as the ambulance departed. The local police say they have no word if this is Corona or any other virus precaution. However, people talk and they come to their own conclusions.
The first day of spring has come and gone and now we sit and wait it out. The financial implications and accessing the various bail out options is the work of this week. So many had just gone back to work and were expecting to be paid at the end of the month. Very little spare money sloshing about the Soller Valley at this time of year means that this month end could be very bleak.
Ths is a week where we have laughed and cried in equal measure. The roller coaster of emotions when life spins out of control is the same for everyone. This is actually quite liberating when you see that we are all in the same boat. Our local energy company sent a message to their customers that we would all be getting 15% reduction on our electricity bills. This was in recognition that as we would all be at home we would use more. This was a really great gesture which lifted our spirits a little.