Spain in lockdown in 2020

Last year when Spain was in lockdown and we could only go out on our balconies.

21-01-2021Ana Escobar - kf - EFE - EFE

Sadly, it was inevitable that after flexing the rules of Covid protocol leading up to Christmas and the festive period beyond, there would be a spike in the number of infections across the island. Unavoidable? Almost certainly! Although there will always be ‘unbelievers’ who won’t even concede to the simple reported fact that the Balearic Islands now have the third highest number of Coronavirus cases in Spain, sitting us neatly behind Extremadura and Madrid. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, yet we all knew those traditional family get togethers and gatherings with friends would make this happen, and the consequence of a ramped up and stricter lockdown is once again upon us.

So, what to do? Although the regulations aren’t currently as limiting as they were back in March 2020 when we were completely confined to the homestead, we are once again being encouraged to ‘STAY HOME.’ In reality we should be dab hands at this routine by now, and accepting the rules with the grace and knowledge that it is for our own safety, put in place by the government to curb, crush, and protect us from a global virus, and not (as some suggest) orchestrated to punish us out of spite in order to gain power over our freedom. (Where do these people get their ideas from?).

Yes, we are all fed up with being a year down the line and in a worse case scenario than we were at the very beginning of the pandemic! But cavalier behaviour is ultimately responsible for driving the virus forward, and not helping one jot in keeping the pandemic in check. Some countries including New Zealand and Japan, at the first sign of alarm, immediately became Covid savvy and did exactly as they were told. Even without government initiative, society took personal responsibility for their individual actions. They didn’t socialize willy nilly, mix in-house with family and friends; they wore masks and maintained social distancing at all times from the very beginning. Subsequently, they are in a much better situation. Thank Google we have a vaccine on the way, as long as Spanish administration can pull its finger out on the mainland and get the necessary and regular supplies here to Mallorca!

Apparently, the vaccine has to be transported to the island by planes equipped with a strict and necessary storage characteristic. Last week none of the aircraft flown to the Balearics from Madrid were ‘set up’ to carry the vaccine to us. Incredible! Before that, Storm Filomena was blamed for the delay. Even amidst a global crisis it seems that Spanish organization and beaurocracy is a shambles. Unless of course it involves organising an annual fiesta, then everything runs like clockwork! All we can really do now is sit tight, think of new things to do, and wait for all this nasty business to go away. Back in March everyone was going beserk baking banana bread. I perfected three different variations, all delicious. But in all honesty, if I didn’t see another banana until next Christmas I wouldn’t be too stressed!

I invented soups. I whittled carrots into caricatures of ‘B list’ celebrities. I made every combination of muffin ever invented, although the tuna fish and gorgonzola with black treacle icing still remains on the ‘to do’ list! I made curry out of banana skins. I made pesto out of nettles. I ate lots of beans to boost my immune system and learnt to fart the first four bars of the JAWS’ sound track. I baked. I ate. I tried Joe Wix’s online PE class for kids, and dislocated both knees within minutes of his wonder workout. I think this time I’ll stick to gentle walks in the countryside. Leaping out of the way of cyclists gives me all the aerobic activity I really need. I tried to develop my ‘glare’ to a telekinetic level where I could unsaddle speeding yobs on wheels with a Carrie inspired glance. Sadly, yet suprisingly I failed.

I stopped making DIY face coverings out of underpants as the professional FFP2 protective masks have been proved far superior, are safer, fit better, and much more effective. Besides, I was quickly running out of underwear as the process of mask making is irreversible, unless you are into sporting snug thongs! And breathing through a gusset wasn’t doing anything for my self esteem.

In 2020 I also learnt to Zoom, although by the time I made myself presentable and spring cleaned the entire house in case ‘caller’ asked for a virtual tour I’d usually gone off the idea of an impromptu chat. A quick Facetime or ‘table tennis’ exchange on WhatsApp is more casual and convenient all round, and not half as daunting to set up.

All the things we did first time round to amuse, entertain and fill the hours don’t seem so exciting now, but it’s still important for your mental health to keep yourself occupied and stimulated with new things to do in lockdown. Social media has been a lifesaver for the masses, yet you don’t want to become addicted and find yourself digitally dependent on a device when the ‘all clear’ sounds.

Luckily, I’m an ardent film buff, so still enjoying working my way through our established film collection along with all the new DVD’s and boxed sets that Other Half has been procuring. Shopping online is also a great distraction from not going out, along with planning and booking fantasy holidays to far flung distant shores. So exciting! This pandemic has certainly put a lot of values into perspective, and makes one realise that life is not a chaotic rehearsal, and you only get the ONE opportunity to enjoy it and shine.
Covid19 has stolen an entire year away from everyone, yet I am certain the pending recovery will be celebrated with abandoned and extravagant aplomb by the masses.

Tourism here in Mallorca has suffered a great hit, yet the enthusiasm and desire to holiday here on the island has certainly not waned. It’s uncertain when the season will fully start again as it still depends on people behaving themselves, even though a vaccine is imminent. But I am positive that when Covid has become the curse of our past, we shall all be enjoying an explosion of hedonistic pleasure, with expense thrown to the wind, in the knowledge that we are safe, and very much alive!

Meanwhile, I can always amuse myself by watching the cat clean herself, and pray that people don’t push back to normal too soon before we are vaccine safe! Now where are those carrots and my whittling blade?

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James Lefton / Hace about 1 month

Dear Pete, although I applaud your self discipline and stamina in entertaining yourself, I believe you may not quite be taking into account the hardships people are going through right now. The cost of “staying home” reaches far beyond a little boredom or new cooking recipes. Families are breaking apart, jobs are being lost, industries are being destroyed. Kids are becoming media junkies while the parents are slowly moving towards alcoholism. My wife a Covid doctor is near the end of what is humanly possible after this year. The other day she broke down at home about what they were actually doing at the hospital. Spending an incredible amount of resources both human and capital to save 95 year olds with severe dementia. That is the reality of what is going on in the hospital. So I am happy for you that you seem to enjoy doing what you do, but please respect that this is by far not good, possible or reasonable for many people and families. Especially while watching inept politicians not doing their jobs properly or even cluelessly. Best James

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