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Last night I got an unexpected call from my friend Manolo Manosalbas, possibly the best food photographer in Spain. We’ve known each other for many years and we always see each other at various events, and for awhile I did some “tapas research” with his wife Blanca. But we were never “friends” like the kind who call each other up at 23.30h on a Friday night. So that’s why it was a surprise.

It turned out that Manolo just wanted to check up on me and also to talk about the “new normal” coming our way. I was really touched by this, as I do often feel a bit “forgotten” and truly miss my rather vasty social circle. The hard truth is that for those of us who work with hospitality and tourism, we are pretty much fucked now, along with all our friends who run bars and restaurants here.

Some harsh realities are starting to sink in now after five weeks of lockdown, with the (fake) news and (mis)information changing daily. The latest is that “officially” we are on lockdown until May 10th, but nobody really sees that lifting until the end of May at the earliest, and more likely sometime this summer. At first we heard that bars, restaurants and hotels would be able to open again shortly after that, perhaps September, but now reports are saying they will probably have to remain shut down until January 2121. Very sadly this means that many many places we know and love will not survive.

With a second wave of the virus imminent, until we have a vaccine it’s never going to be safe to go out there again, at least not how we were used to doing things. I’m kind of looking ahead with both a sense of trepidation and genuine curiosity bordering on hopefulness. I mean, we already knew things couldn’t keep going on the way they were. Now we have no choice but to make changes. I think for starters people are going to have to become less greedy. By that I mostly mean big biz, banks, landlords, utility companies, etc, but also on a personal level. It simply cannot be just about us anymore. Not sure I have that much faith in humanity to do the right thing, to be honest, but for now it’s all the hope we’ve got.  ❤ xx