The torrent in Soller

The torrent in Soller

28-04-2020Rachel Fox

Once upon a time in 2020 the world had a meltdown and everyone was required to stay at home. A virus was outside our door and for some it created terrible medical problems and in some cases death. The world had never seen anything like it before and had only heard of similar viruses which had been contained on the other side of the world. This time it was everyone’s problem and governments closed their countries down.

Generous to a fault they made sure we could live in our houses without fear of eviction, have heat and light (to be paid for another time), have enough basic money for a month and access to food banks. They all had a hastily arranged 30-day lockdown plan.

New readers start here because this is where it gets complicated. The easy bit is over and now we have children climbing the wall because, in Spain, they hadn’t been outside the door for six weeks until last Sunday. Teenagers and adults can only go out to go to a shop or chemist once a week. Vulnerable adults can’t even do that but must rely on neighbours or Social Services to shop for them. Families are not allowed to visit and lockdown means isolation for some, and being with people they can’t stand for others. Domestic violence figures in the Balearics are not for the faint hearted.

You see thirty days’ lockdown has now become forty-five and will be fifty-five before the next lock down decision is made. The tears of the people are heard on the phone lines to the banks as they try and get loans to see them through. Tourism is the life blood of the Soller Valley and right now no-one can tell us how or when we are going to get out of this.

Let me take you round Soller right now and explain how this is being dealt with at a local level. The Town Hall has a strong leader in the Social Services Department. Margalida Morell is her name and she works closely with the Red Cross, Caritas, and local volunteers to provide the services we need. Her brief also includes looking out for adults and children in our community subject to abuse. Her team attempts to feed and protect the vulnerable she is aware of. Her workload in the past weeks has quadrupled and she has asked the Mayor for more staff. Hunger is a real issue as many have no money now – six weeks after they last worked.

Margalida’s team is creating a ‘Meals on Wheels’ delivery service to the people that need it in the Valley. Children whose families receive free school meals will get fed daily plus the many others who have asked for help. This has become an avalanche and our elected representatives can’t work any harder.

Cottage industries in the making of masks and protective clothing for medical staff goes on in sewing machines all over the place. Neighbours are making double dinners and cakes and passing them on locally to families they personally know who are struggling. This is a community who sees and hears what is going on around them and just gives.

I am proud to be Solleric at this time. In our little way in Sollerweb we give the community the free advertising space to tell us of their food delivery services. Some restaurants are offering delivery of their skills from Pizza to Japanese and we let the community know about them too. We pass information on as we get it and we do our best to keep our readers informed and entertained.

Then we can’t forget the 8 pm acknowledgement of our gratitude every day. From windows and balconies all over Soller the claps can be heard as we salute daily those that make our lives possible in these difficult times. We salute the bin men, the shop workers, the bakers, the butchers and the disinfectant farmers who clean our streets. We are also more than grateful to the whole team of staff at all our hospitals and health centres. We salute you all with claps and thanks.

I started this article as a story and each tale should have a happy ending. I’m afraid it is too early to give you that today. We are all doing what we can every day to move it all along – I do know that. We all send positive thoughts out to those in the middle of vaccine experiments and production. There is light at the end of the tunnel but no-one can give us a time frame right now.

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