It’s been more than a week since I’ve been out of the apartment for anything but taking out the garbage – once. Jeff says he wants to do it next time but he’ll have to fight me for it.
Actually, he’s really ill. Running a fever, cough, and not feeling his best. He won’t go to the hospital, as he feels they have enough going on and we have plenty of meds here – both Spanish and American – so we’ll try to weather the storm. But if he takes a turn I’ll run him down there in our car – by law now two people can be in a car at once (wearing face masks) if one of them is ill, disabled, old or otherwise unable to present the abilities of locomotion on their own. I think Jeff’s just delaying it because he thinks my driving might kill him and he’s more willing to take his chances on the sofa in the apartment.
But we’re running low on food stuffs so I suited up today and took my food stroller for a spin. It was a little surreal being let out of the house. I was breathless with the freedom – though that might have been the mask – and the wind blowing through my hair. I won’t lie, I walked the long way to the store. I just couldn’t bring myself to go straight there. Like a teenager sent on an errand from her mother and taking a detour to her boyfriend’s house. Did I do that? Never. But after being locked up for a week I was drunk with the legal privilege of walking the streets that was afforded to me by my food stroller – and I pushed it a bit and not just the stroller. I know I did. But I couldn’t help it. I’ve never been so envious of dog owners in my life. They get to go out with impunity several times a day! Just imagine it.
I arrived at the Mercadona and there was a line. I was anticipating that, having heard about it from others on WhatsApp. And people were staying well away from each other while a Mercadona employee was minding the line and directing traffic. One in and One out. When my turn came, I entered, and saw that there was more than one person in the store but everyone was staying a safe distance away from each other – most wearing masks – and the staff were masked and gloved up too. People were lovely and respectful. No pushing and shoving. No hoarding of toilet paper. I even bought facial tissue without a problem.
The shortages of meat last week have been sorted out. They were well stocked in every category. No worries there. But it’s been a week since the beginning of the State of Emergency. People have now settled in to this new normal and it’s clear they’re deep into stress eating, as there were almost no snacks or candy left in the store. Chips, chocolate. Only a few bags left. I bought Jeff ‘Egg chips’ – he’s not happy.
They say an army marches on it’s stomach. But you can tell what’s important to people by what they hoard. In the US, it’s toilet paper because we’re so full of …well, you know – sorry, couldn’t resist. In the UK this week the aisles for tea in stores have been cleaned out completely. There have been pictures all over social media about it, which makes sense because in my experience when anything bad happens, my British friends invariably say ‘Fancy a cuppa tea’ and then we sit down for a good cry. But here in Spain I turned from the ransacked snack aisle and then I saw it. The wine section has been raided. Sure, there are bottles left but I wouldn’t drink them. If a Spaniard hoarding wine doesn’t like it then it can’t be much good.
I filled my trolley with mostly fresh fruits and things other than carbs. We try – we really try. And made my way home. The police were stopping anyone without a dog or a shopping trolley so they’re serious about it. No long way home for me this time. We had a nice response from out neighbors on our offer to pick up their shopping. Some people left notes on the door or slid them under. It’s nice to know at the end of this we’ll be more friends than just neighbors.
Tonight we’ll need to go out to take the recycling again. I might just dress up for the occasion. Put on something special. Two trips outside in one day is almost too much to imagine. I hope I don’t pass out from the excitement. OK Friends – That’s all from here. Stay safe, stay sane, and stay inside. Cheers!!