Positive Covid cases increased in Mallorca's schools.

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The Balearic economy all but ground to a halt last week - well, that was the impression. It was reminiscent of the old days of state-of-alarm confinement. Just that this time, everyone had Covid and had to place themselves in confinement.

One by one, sectors - public and private - voiced fears because of all those on a sicky. The distributors to supermarkets - who will there be to man the warehouses and drive the lorries? The security forces - could crime sweep the isles with so many officers isolating? Perhaps not, as all the crims were themselves confined. Hospitality - who was there to check the QR codes and take the orders, let alone cook them? Retailers - the high street was grim, as there were no shoppers and no staff to serve them anyway.

Self-management for a slow procedure

Then there were the health centres. Staff were off sick and primary care was bearing the brunt of the sick leave pandemic. Thousands of asymptomatic cases were needing a sick note and then a different one to say they were no longer sick. One by one, all the sectors agreed that procedures needed to be sped up.

Help was at hand, and the health service announced that there will be a website for people to "self-manage" their sick leave. A more sophisticated system than when your mum used to write you a sick note for school is on its way.

Back to school ... then off school

The schools were collapsing as well. To the surprise of absolutely no one, as the educational community had feared the worst even before the kids went back on Monday, the positives in the classroom were some 3,500 greater than they had been before the holidays. And these were just the kids, and they probably were getting their mums to write them sick notes.


For the return to school, some 300 teachers were off. By the end of the week, the number had all but trebled. Supply teachers were being rapidly deployed; those who weren't themselves on sick leave.

Vaxxing the kids

Once more, the Balearics found themselves lagging behind in the vaccination stakes. Months ago, this had been attributed to the islands having a young population compared with other regions. Now, it was the young themselves who were the issue - the youngest. The vaccination rate of under-12s was around half the national average.

The price of a test

Pharmacies, inundated with demand for antigen tests, said that prices had to be five to six euros a go because the supply shortage had pushed up their costs. Selling them for less, and they would lose money. To their horror, the Spanish government then went and capped the price at 2.94 euros.

Banning cruise ships

On most days of the week, the Bulletin online invites readers to discover which ships are in port. This may require amending to which ships in port have recorded Covid positives.

The week before last, fifteen people were taken off one particular ship in Palma. On Thursday, a different ship yielded 54. Having suggested that this sort of outbreak could provide ammunition for the anti-mega-cruise ship lobby, this is precisely what happened. With the 54 confined to Palma's Covid hotel, the Palma XXI association called for a halt to cruise ships and a return to regulations along the lines of the one that had been introduced in March 2020.

No cruise ships. Everyone being confined. Just like the old days.