Last night it was announced that Valencia City will not be moving from Phase 0 to Phase 1. We have not met the criteria outlined by the national government. We are not alone. Some other regions and areas of the country are not moving forward either. I’m not sure why, but this hit me hard.
It’s been 8 weeks inside with only a week of being able to walk outside for one hour per day. Yes, for a couple of weeks I wasn’t up to caring either way, but now it’s more about what moving to the next phase represents. Progress.
I see around the world that people who have barely had a lockdown, protest any restrictions whatsoever. In the US they think they’ve been in ‘lockdown’ because every single store isn’t open and the axe throwing parlor or the bowling alley is still closed. But they have no idea what it’s like here. There, they can still go out for a walk whenever they want. For hours even. They can drive across the country if they like or just to a scenic spot and take in the view. We can do none of those things. Walking just 1 km from home is as far as we’re allowed. And just for 1 hour per day.
We watched from our balcony on Thursday, as the police set up a check point in front of our apartment. Stopping people who were outside during the time when their particular age group is NOT allowed out to walk. This included cyclists. And they stopped every car and interrogated the passengers – because there should be none in Phase 0, unless the person is handicapped or incapable of driving themselves to a critical appointment. (Jeff driving me to the doctor qualified). We noticed that if there was more than one person in the car, tickets were issued. And if they didn’t have masks? Shouting ensued as the police read them the riot act. The police are fed up with stupid people who can’t follow rules, and whose recklessness keep us from moving on to Phase 1. Yes, societal compliance factors in to the equation to determine if we can move forward.
This flash check point out front didn’t last long but it impressed upon the people in the area how serious this is, and how the police are not going to put up with funny business. I have noticed that the bloom is off the rose on the walking. Last night we walked at 10:15. We barely ran into anyone. And this morning I was up at 6 am and there wasn’t a person on the street.
Yes, we’re fatigued. It’s difficult. And while I know that it’s in our best interest, it doesn’t make it easier. Its become less of a physical coping and more of a mental one. Perhaps that’s why tears came so quick as we watched the news of our Health Minister reading out the results of the regional applications to move to Phase 1. As though these were the Oscar nominations and our project didn’t get the nod. Jeff looked over at me.
‘Why the tears?’ He asked me.
‘I don’t actually know. I just hoped we were ready enough. Doing well enough. It seems that’s just not so.’
He smiled. ‘We still have time to go out. Let’s go for a walk and pretend like it doesn’t matter.’
So we did. And I did feel better. Next time – I tell myself. Next time we will move on to Phase 1. After that, El Chino will be open and I can start on my mosaic table top that I’ve been designing in my mind. I’ll be able to purchase all the supplies and replenish my painting canvases. We will be able to go down to our local and have a coffee at an outdoor table on a sunny morning – in full mask, of course.
That time is coming. I know it is. Now that I feel better I’m in a hurry to get to the new normal. But like everything else in my life – Tranquila, Kelli.