It’s been exactly six months since lockdown began. Well, some say it was officially declared on the 16th of March, but in fact by Saturday the 14th here schools, offices, shops, bars and restaurants had all been ordered to shut and people were told to stay at home. As with, I think, all of us, it took a while for it all to sink in. What it would mean to us, our lives, the world. I remember the “good ol’ days” when my main concern, chatting with friends, was that all my tapas tours for the spring had been cancelled and I was going to lose the high season trade. Back then everyone was sure this would all be over by summertime. Ha.
Then at the end of June we were all “set free” to partake in a massive public experiment to see how many of us would get sick and die in the New Normal. Yes, there were a few guidelines as to how we could keep ourselves, and others, safe(ish), but really nobody knew what would happen. Heck, they still don’t know. Over this past weekend here there was a surge of confirmed infectious cases (209) and 5 deaths within a 24 hour period on Saturday, with 6 other deaths on the previous 2 days. ONLY IN SEVILLA. Meanwhile Canada has been reporting 0 daily deaths recently… in the whole fucking country.
Over that same weekend police shut down two illegal botellones (where young people gather to drink in the streets, parks, etc), one with 500 people, another with 300, all without masks and, needless to say, no distancing. They also shut down other smaller botellones around the city and closed some illegal bar parties. But apparently there are not enough police to keep this under control. Truly I despair.
I also despair when I go to tapas bars and restaurants and see a flagrant disregard for the rules, by customers and staff alike, rules not only put into place to keep people safe, but also to help keep their establishments open. Yet some don’t seem to care. It’s like they are there for the quick grab, to make as much money as possible before the second wave comes and they are shut down again.
To be fair, this isn’t happening everywhere. I’ve been to places that are doing everything possible, following the guidelines, even taking extra precautions, and I salute them. Because none of this is easy for them. It’s extra expense at a time when they are already struggling to survive, it takes more time, and it means that with the reduced numbers they are barely covering costs, if then. THESE guys, I am so proud to know them. They aren’t putting people at risk to make some quick cash and run before the second wave hits, they are looking towards a possible future, playing the long game even though it’s costing them a lot.
Meanwhile guess what? The second wave is already here. I saw it referenced by the Spanish government in an article about the recent surge in confirmed cases and deaths. The Second Wave. It’s here. And yet with the figures almost as high as they were in March, we are still walking around like it’s not happening. Because nobody is telling us what to do.
Sadly, the public seems unable to make sensible choices on its own. As in, I’m gonna keep going to the gym, my friend’s house, bars and restaurants, whatever, until the Govt tells me not to. Why?? I mean, I do understand wanting things to be the way they used to be, because I do too with every fibre of my being. But we all know this isn’t possible. Not now, and maybe not ever. Hello? And also – BIG QUESTION – why do you still trust your government? I mean, unless you live in New Zealand and a very few other fortunate countries, why the actual fuck would you believe what you are being told?? Why can’t you do a little research and use your own common sense?
I admit, I got a bit free and easy this past month or so. I went from going out once a week to the supermarket to taking my lovely long walks by the river again. Then I ventured into a bar for a quick cold beer. Then I stopped in somewhere for a tapa… this led to me meeting up with friends (one at a time, maybe once a week) for tapas at places where I felt they were doing things right. And that’s really how things are now. Except I now feel like I have to stop again.
FIVE DEATHS AND 209 CONFIRMED CASES IN 24 HOURS – IN SEVILLA.
Those are similar to the figures that we had in March. Later on that same day they published new numbers saying that for the first time in 3 weeks Sevilla had 0 deaths yesterday. Like, what? Yesterday wasn’t even over when they claimed this. Meanwhile nobody IN CHARGE is telling us to be extra careful. If anything I see that people are becoming way more lax about being careful. It’s like see? We’re not dead yet! Everything must be fine.
Another rather ghoulish opinion being stated is that the new high rate of infections is not as serious because, hey look fewer deaths, so it’s not so bad this time! First of all, among the massive number of deaths during the first wave were the elderly, infirm and poor… and well, they’re dead now. Thousands upon thousands of them. So of course you have fewer deaths (for now) among the young and healthy, who may still end up with long-term LIFE LONG health problems. And who may well also die when their systems get over-burdened. Who knows how long that might take? Well NOBODY because the long-term effects of Covid are only now being recognised. And they are not pleasant.
I’m watching people I love being amazing and caring, going that extra mile, keeping the big picture in mind. I’m also watching other people I quite like being selfish and self-serving, which I know they aren’t really, not usually, but they have been pushed to this, I guess, by being so frightened for their own futures that they stopped caring about anyone else’s.
Anyhow, six months. Fuck, if you’d have told me in March what September was going to look like I’m not sure if that would’ve been a good or bad thing. To know. I still can’t think much beyond the next few days. I’m scared all the time. I’m lonely. Some friends have complained of being bored. What a luxury that would be! I truly hope I get to be bored again. ❤
Steve Harper said:
Stay well. We are enjoying your posts. We are glad to have met you. We are doing okay, but still staying home mostly. Steve and Jeannie
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Thanks Steve. Been loving the whole kitten saga. xx
Deb Barnes said:
Here in the UK the advice is bizarre, they can’t seem to decide what’s safe and what’s not. We can go to work, indoors, with any number of people as long as we distance. But we can only see 5 people socially. That’s ok for me, my brother, his wife and 3 kids pretty much make up my social life anyway, but it’s bizarre that my two step-brothers (one who currently lives with me) can’t join us in the garden. COVID-19 obviously doesn’t drink and isn’t interested in current films, so pubs and cinemas are fine. But we can’t meet more than 6 together in an outside space.
There’s conflicting advice on travel abroad too. We’re told not to travel unless it’s important – but the airlines don’t have to offer flight changes or cancellations to those who already have flights booked. I was booked to visit my mum in Costa Blanca in April, then due to lockdown I was allowed to change the flight. So now I’m supposed to fly out next Saturday. I’m not going, of course. I don’t want to run the risk of taking it with me or picking it up en route; I don’t want to have to isolate for two weeks on my return as that’s just inconvenient for work; and I really don’t want to wear a mask every time we leave home in temperatures and humidity I’m not used to (I struggle enough with that as it is). So I have the option of rebooking, which will cost me at least £100 more, or cutting my losses. I paid for the original flights when I paid my credit card bill in January, so luckily I can be philosophical and think “Oh, well, that money’s already gone”, it’s not going to leave me immediately out of pocket as it were, but the unfairness of it does grate.
I hope you find a way of continuing to get through this, both financially and emotionally.
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That’s such a shame about your flight, but yeah, you’d be nuts to come to Spain now.
All the UK government “advice” sounds like they’re just making it up as they go along. It hasn’t been much better here, but it is somewhat better. My main concern is that we aren’t being told the truth and the next shutdown will also come too late. They are already hinting of it happening in 2-3 weeks. Why not take steps now? Surely it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
Anyhow, one day at a time…
I wish to tapdancing Christ that all the world governments could just come to an agreement to shut everything down to the maximum possible for three or four weeks and test everyone they can anywhere near an outbreak. You’d think that would be possible, wouldn’t you? And then whatever steps seasoned epidemiologists can agree on to keep the numbers from going back up. We’ve got this amazing worldwide communication net and it’s mainly being used for people like us to vent.