The Soller Valley is spectacularly beautiful in autumn, locals and a few visitors are enjoying every minute. The air is clear, the sea clean and the sun shines most days. This is the backdrop to our worried lives and helps us bring our heads above the parapet.
The worries of our world are to be found in our Food Bank collection regime. The organisation is up and running in Soller now. They have taken over the Victoria Cultural Centre for the purpose. Local businesses donate by the lorry load and individuals send money or donate in one of the collection points. To feed ourselves and our community is the first priority.
The mental health needs of the community are of equal importance. Everyone has a story of someone, young and old who is just not coping. So much rolling news upsets people and the dangers of sound bites are very evident. The advantages of the return to school for children are manifold. We are so glad that many skilled teachers are watching out for the mental health issues of the children. The normal fears of youth now have the ‘fear of a cough’ to add to the list.
Imagine the scene, you go to school and start coughing. It could be a virus, infection or allergy which started the sneezing and coughing. Immediately your parents are contacted to come and take the child for a Covid test. Children, just like adults, have no wish to have a spatula up their nose. They do, however, take the test and then the whole family have to self-isolate till the results are known.
Children feel their parents anguish and begin to fear a cough or the worried looks of the adults in their life. No wonder this young generation are learning so much about paranoia. This should never be a feature of childhood. All adults should be aware of their responsibility to children. We all have to enable as near to normal life as possible for them.
Food, mental health, and what next on the list of awfulness?
Loneliness and isolation is the one which completes the triangle for me. In a village like Soller much of life is lived on the street, in the cafes and in the outdoors. It is unnatural for a Solleric to spend time, for hours on end, in the house. The early lockdown and the advice to the elderly involves an awful lot of isolation for protection. The elderly looking after their equally elderly partners are particularly vulnerable and their experience sometimes involves violence.
The social services of Soller, Caritas, the Red Cross and other volunteers are spectacular. I am proud to live in a place where this cooperation is so evident. Most Soller families are also extremely caring for their elderly family members. The people who fall through the safety net can be living next door to you and me. This is why everyone has a responsibility towards the lives of their neighbours.
The Bank Holiday this week has reminded us of the National Day of Spain. Columbus gets thrown into this day too and the Majorcan debate goes on. Did he really come from Felanitx after all? This debate occupies a cup of coffee every year. Could it be true that America was really discovered by a boy from Majorca?
The wind-up of this week’s news in Soller is salutary. The home for the elderly and the patient’s recovery from Covid is under the spotlight. The deaths and anguish this has caused for a connected community is just awful. We think a little light is breaking through now and many are on the road to recovery. It is, however, an uneasy truce as we know we are still living with the virus on our island.
We come back to where we started as we know we have to look for the good in every day. When the sun shines and we have time to get out to enjoy the rays of vitamin D, all is well with our world. When we see the smiles of our family and friends, all is well with our world. When we take every opportunity to laugh at the absurdity of our 2020 lives, all is well with our world.