As a storyteller I am overwhelmed by the stories being created in our Soller Valley community right now. I do not want to be too sentimental and create the illusion that we are all rising from the ashes of this disaster as Super Heroes. I do, however, want to tell some of them so you can make your own judgements.
We are now living with the consequences of our choices. As the virus arrived, family discussions were had about some elderly moving in with family. Others were making decisions about visitors who were staying with them and the logistics and wisdom of getting them back to the UK. Others were distraught at the idea that their student children were in other European cities when their families wanted them back in Majorca.
Now there is no movement apart from the rare resident getting back here by tortuous flights involving multi changes and hanging about in deserted airports. Imagine being stranded in India or Peru and then trying to get back to our island. This has been the experience of some. Of course all those who have done that have had to go into self isolation when they reach their house. No one is resisting and they are just glad to have achieved what seemed impossible.
Everyone of these people has a story and hopefully in the future will share with me for a bumper edition of ‘Humans of Majorca in the Pandemic 2020’.
Kindness is all around us and people looking out for each other. My bread delivery out of nowhere came when our local celebrity chef Piers Dawson was baking batches of sour dough bread. Every neighbour in his street got a loaf and he even delivered one to me through a locked gate! All gratefully received and delicious.
The delivery of fruit and vegetables is the new enlightenment. Our local Co operativa is delivering boxes of fruit and vegetables to the community. No choice, you get what you are given for 15 euros a box. Only problem was the overwhelming success of the launch with over 5000 orders in the first two days. An immediate call for packers and delivery drivers went out and they are now working through the orders every day.
A whole team of people (around 60 at the last count) in the Soller Valley are sewing for the greater good. Maeve leads the team at Boomerang Bags who normally sew sustainable shopping bags voluntarily. Maribel is the co ordinator for the face masks and gowns for the health professionals. Maribel recruited Maeve and her team and now they all make gowns and face masks instead. This number is added to by many locals who have a sewing machine in pride of place in their homes. Our Rachel (who does the pics for this page) is one of the collectors of all this homeworking and makes sure the PAC health centre receive the work. The material is donated by other kindness and the whole project is free to the recipients.
Then there are those that simply have no money and don’t know what to do. A bail out has been prepared for those in employment and those who pay their Autonomous payment every month. The details are still patchy but will become clearer as the end of the month draws near. I am talking here of people who have only been here a season and are not fully in the system. The community are watching out for such people although, because we don’t bump into them now, it is hard work. Most people have decided to be a bit cheeky to those who they think might be suffering and just ask them. A food donation at the least might be the outcome and a speedy referral to Social Services at the Town Hall.
The six o clock claps on Saturday for the children of our community was very happy. No-one can underestimate the effect a lockdown has on children with no outside space. The 8pm claps and police sirens coming down the street is the highlight of many children’s day. The idea of the 6 pm clap on Saturday just for them was considered very special.
Our Barrio is our community and that’s all we can see at present. For me, mine is a small block containing 24 apartments. 24 lives going on in these conditions and the only contact is the leaning over the balcony for a chat. Our lives have become physically smaller but globally gigantic with the power of the internet.