26-05-2020Rachel Fox

‘That was the week that was’ in our world. Cafes opened and the people were delighted to sit in familiar places with a coffee. Three hours later they closed as word from the Gestor outlined the problems of re opening if you have a number of staff on the payroll. It seems it is only the smaller places which will keep us supplied with the caffeine for the next few weeks.

Soller announced a voucher scheme subsidised by the Town Hall. If you spend money in a local shop they will give you a voucher book worth 10 euros. This is to spend on coffee and snacks in local cafes. The cafes then claim the subsidy back from the Town Hall. A way to boost local enterprise and bring people back in to the square. It is said that more incentives to shop are in the planning process. A lot of thinking is going on as to how to give the economy and life here a kick start. At present many are still staying home and continuing the Lockdown.

Yesterday saw the start of Sollerics being able to go to the beach. The main problem was flat batteries for those driving. The cars hadn’t moved for many for 10 weeks and not surprisingly the batteries had given up. The townies would normally use the Tram to get to the Port but that is not currently an option. No Trams or Trains and bus service reduced to a minimum.

We all have got used to living with the restrictions, and, while normal working life isn’t happening, it isn’t a problem. Who cares if it takes a day to get a garage to sort the battery. Who cares if a supermarket shop takes three times as long as normal because of the safe distancing queuing. This is just life at the moment but very soon that will not work. Many companies are calling their staff back to work and aiming for a semblance of normal working life. What happens then with the children who are home schooling and domestic life taking a disproportionate amount of time?

Local Soller schools seem to be saying that home schooling will continue for the rest of this school year. No-one is thinking they will return till September at the earliest. The unsaid is the fear of a virus blip or spike and localised lockdowns happening. We haven’t lived through this possibility yet but now that Phase 2 is underway all eyes are on the daily life of the population.

The turtle seen in the waters just off the Puerto Soller last week caused huge interest and excitement. The mariners amongst us say that if our seas are clean enough for the turtles to return we have just solved the jelly fish problems. The turtles love a tasty snack of jellyfish. This is why they sometimes get in trouble with clear plastic thrown in the water. The turtles think the plastic is a jelly fish and this causes massive problems.

Sollerweb receive messages every day from those desperate to return to their second home or have holidays here. Our answers are given with whatever information we have that day. This is not easy as the rules appear to change when logic rears its head. The main comment we make to people is that the travel from their home country is dependant on how well their home country do in their Covid control. The Balearics have a list of countries they are looking forward to welcoming from July but the UK and the USA are not, at present, on that list. There is nothing we can say to that and we feel sorry for all those who usually spend six months of the year with us. As for the holidaymakers they are our economic life and we want them back as soon as its safe for all. The words from the politicians are hopeful but it really all depends how the next few weeks of unlocking our lockdown go. We are all in unchartered waters and no-one has experience enough to predict what the next six months is going to bring.

In the meantime, in Soller we will do a little extra shopping and begin the preparations for the ‘Children’s Day Thank You Fiesta’. We haven’t forgotten the weeks our children couldn’t walk in the street or join their friends for anything. Soller is planning a thank you party for them and I can’t wait.

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