The other day I read this article by Madrid No Frills about her experience meeting two people inside their migrant safe house in Lavapiés, and it brought home to me how much of my social media CORONAVIRUS stuff comes from people who are actually doing just fine. Well, other than not being able to go out much. They are healthy and either still have jobs or have their own resources to live on. So on Twitter and Instagram there’s a lot about sourdough and banana bread, seemingly endless garden bbq’s with home deliveries from top end food and wine suppliers. And that’s totally fine, and I really do enjoy seeing all that. BUT…
In my own reality I am probably closer to the guys in that article. No, I obviously don’t share a small studio apartment between six and I do know where my next meal is coming from, but I also don’t know how long I can keep living where I am, or even how I am going to live as it’s unlikely there will be any tourism here until next year.
For the moment I have had help from friends, for which I am very very grateful, and for now I am also receiving a monthly 600€ payment from the government, which may stop when they end the state of emergency. I am still hoping for a reduction in my rent, all things considered (prices are already going down in the city), so fingers crossed that my landlord will come round on that. Because frankly, if I move then this place will probably stay empty for quite some time. But I do live in dread that I may lose my home.
Getting back to the article, and the OTHER SIDE of how many many people are having to struggle to survive through this, within our own cities. Because it’s not all cosy days at home with lots of great food and wine, with the worst things being that there is no yeast to be found anywhere and nothing left to watch on Netflix.
And this isn’t meant to sound preachy or judgemental, so please don’t take it that way. I am just talking about things as I see them because I also lived six years here as a “sin papeles” and know how it feels to think that any day you could lose everything you have come to know and love. And some days it kind of feels like I am back there again, and that’s scary.
Most days I don’t let my thoughts stray too far afield. I do my rooftop walk, make a nice lunch, keep busy doing whatever, then go to bed again (and barely sleep). But I do need a plan. And work! I’m really crap when I have nothing to work on. Not to mention the much needed income. But I also think it’s too soon to try making plans before we know if/when a second wave will hit us. Before we know what world is actually going to exist after all this.
What’s your lockdown reality like?