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So yesterday was the first day of Phase 1, part of our government’s poco á poco getting back to work sorta-kinda plan. As of May 11th certain other non-essential businesses were allowed to open (retail shops, hairdressers, etc) as well as bars/restaurants that have outdoor terraces. The ruling was that bars could use 50% capacity of the terrace, that safe distancing must be provided, and that only people who live together can sit together. WELL JUST CHECK OUT THAT PHOTO. One of many pics I saw yesterday online. WTAF.

I don’t even know what to think anymore. Although we were given the green light to go out for individual exercise (walking, running, cycling) on May 2nd, during specific hours, I continued doing my rooftop walks BECAUSE THIS HAPPENED. And although people yesterday seemed focused on that one bar in Nervión pictured above, there were actually many that had flouted the basic rules. My friend Esteban @vermuteriayosoytupadre took the photo below yesterday afternoon in the Alameda de Hércules while he was out delivering his vermouth. And he told me he had called the police on about half a dozen other places he passed.

I even saw a couple of places with my own eyes when I took out the rubbish around 2pm after my rooftop walk. One neighbourhood bar seemed to be doing things properly. Half their normal number of tables were set out with the appropriate spacing between them, staff were gloved and masked. Then I turned the corner and saw another bar with ALL its tables out, no safe spacing, even two tables had been put together to accommodate a larger group (right, they all live together?) and my heart crumpled up a bit. Why are people so bloody stupid and selfish???

Anyhow, that settles it. I’m not going anywhere until the end of the month, other than rubbish runs and very occasional quick supermarket visits. Because even doing those two things put me at risk as too many people are still not wearing masks, and they approach in the street not even half a hockey stick away (often there’s not time or space to get out of their way) so then I get home and have to not only wash my hands but also my clothes (shoes are left outside my apartment door now) and take a long hot soapy shower. Every short outing feels like I’m dodging bullets.

It both scares and angers me, because dammit, I am doing everything right. Is it frustrating being in lockdown? Sure it is. Do I miss “the old life”? More than anything. But am I going to put other people and myself at risk because I want what I want? Because let’s face it, I may also be an asymptomatic carrier. Answer: no fucking way. This is how we’ll die. Not with a bang but a complainy snivelling whiny bleating whimper from those who think they are privileged and immune.

I’m reminded of that particularly stupid line in Braveheart when Mel screams out to his followers… “They may take our lives but they will never take our freedom!”

Dude… really? How does that work?