Spain has recently announced some changes to the National State of Alarm around Covid-19.
As everyone expected, Spain extended lockdown until May 9. Joy and I doubt that this will be the last extension.
On the brighter side, the Spanish Prime Minister has announced that starting Sunday, April 27, Spain will allow children outside. In case you didn’t quite catch that, it means that if you have a child under thirteen, that kid has been locked in the house since mid-March. Talk about hell for everyone involved! File this under “You think you had it bad…” Here are two excellent articles on that restriction, though neither explains the rationale behind keeping kids locked away:
- NY Times article: In Spain, Children Still Can’t Go Outside written from a mom’s perspective.
- NPR article: In Spain, Pandemic Restrictions Mean Children Aren’t Allowed Outside Their Homes.
In less happy news, the Guardia Civil has cordoned off the trail that went past our apartment building. In order to get Brighton some exercise, we are now taking him to the garage and having him sprint back and forth between us. The slippery cement is hard on his arthritic hips, but the exercise helps take the edge off. By the way, notice all the concrete pillars in the photo below? Our apartment complex was designed by the world’s worst architect. It’s a narrow, winding obstacle course to get to your parking spot. Nearly all the cars, including our own, have scrape marks from drivers misjudging pillars.
It feels like the police and Guardia Civil have increased their patrols and checkpoints. Maybe it’s just because we’ve become paranoid about them. Recently, I was pulled over and held for nearly 15 minutes because I didn’t have proof that I belonged here, and they were concerned that I was just traveling through. It doesn’t help that our car has red temporary license plates and a big ol’ “F” for “France”. Besides copies of our passports and visas, we now also carry a letter from our landlady saying that we’ve been here since early March, and that we know and are obeying the rules.
Here’s an excellent (but not comprehensive) summary of those rules: Spain’s Covid-19 Restrictions. BTW, fines can be anywhere between €1,500 and €600,000 for the gravest offense. Yikes!
When we first started this lockdown, we really enjoyed the “European-ness” of going grocery shopping every 2-3 days, going to the grocer, then the butcher, and then the baker. We would take turns “having fun.” Now, we’re both finding it very stressful. Besides worrying about being pulled over by the police, it’s also the riskiest thing we do as we have to interact (from a distance) with other people and touch (with gloves) lots of surfaces other people have touched. We still take turns, but rather than sharing the fun, it’s more of a “I can’t face it” thing. Also, we now shop more like Americans, buying lots of food all at once. We’re buying about a week’s worth. We’d buy more if we could, but our appliances and cabinets are “Suzy Bake Oven-sized” so our ability to hoard is limited.
Keeping in Touch
We very much enjoy all the online video conferencing with family and friends. It makes a huge difference. If you’re not doing these, we highly recommend them. They’re even better if you’re doing online games. Here are some entries from an online game titled “Drawful 2” where you are assigned something to draw and people guess what it’s supposed to be. The image below show some of our “masterpieces” with the actual title the drawer was assigned. I was stunned that 2 of 3 people actually guessed the correct title for my hideous drawing (the one on the right).
This is not the perkiest of my posts, but I’m sure everyone is stressed these days. Joy and I will continue to slog through and look forward to better days. In the meantime, I’m feeling stressed enough that I may even resort to taking up yoga.
We’ll continue to post something periodically so folks can see that we’re still alive and kickin’.