And They’re Off!!

NEWSFLASH!! This just in as of Tuesday at 19:30 – they just announced we will not request to go to Phase 2 next week. The Valencian government has decided that our behavior and our numbers are not where they need to be to progress. We will wait another week in our current state before progressing.

Remember when I said there was no discernible difference between Phase 0 and Phase !? Well, turns out I couldn’t be more wrong. Not because the walking time tables were officially modified – not one little bit. Not because cafes can serve customers at outdoor tables. And not because shops <400 square meters can now serve customers without an appointment.

None of these things was the one thing that sent the community into chaos. I think allowing people to go get a coffee or a glass of wine with friends at an outdoor cafe was like waving a red cape in front of a bull. Toro! And it was on. Full Tilt. Where are the police who had a check point set up in front of our building last week? No where to be seen.

I went out to a medical appointment at 5 pm tonight. When I got out at around 7, the streets were teeming. 7-8 pm is supposed to be reserved for those who are 70+. Or others with legitimate appointments. It’s pretty clear ‘legitimate’ is open to wide interpretations and all bets are off. Tonight was the busiest evening in Valencia I’ve seen since last summer.

I had to dodge and weave my way home. The masked and gloved elderly looked confused and some of the geriatric walkers shouted and waved their canes at teenagers who were horsing around, blocking the sidewalk and hugging everyone they encountered – mask free.

Reading the paper – Las Provincias – today’s edition featured an article quoting the premier of the Valencia autonomous region. He states that now that Phase 2 is in sight, the national government will not have total decision making power to move the region to the next phase. All of the Valencia region will move next Monday – no matter what. This would alarm me but I think the cat is already out of the bag. There will be no putting that genie back in the bottle.

Now that the main danger has passed, it seems the city is restless. Protest are starting to break out against the government. Last night there were 2000 people who marched on the army headquarters and chanted slogans and waved flags. We’ve had some of the harshest measures in the world to combat the virus. So far, we are winning the battle and while universal basic income is slated to be passed by the government,. the economy has been decimated. No government will come out of this unscathed.

Clapping for healthcare workers is now a half-hearted and lasts 3 minutes max. The pot banging for essential workers at 9 pm will last a bit longer. 7 minutes tonight. We will stay at home as much as we can. While people flout the rules, we will remain inside. Another week won’t hurt anything. Another two might be even better. In June, we will emerge from our cocoons as the butterflies we will surely be. Stronger and healthier – hoping the predicted second wave will spare us. But looking outside today, I fear we may only be in a lull. I hope I’m wrong.

8 thoughts on “And They’re Off!!

  • I wrote this below on Monday to a friend in Malaga. It is exactly the same thing going on around here. BTW, I have not been out to shop or go anywhere othet than the vineyard where it is only Milito and I.

    Yesterday driving home from the vineyard, we have to go through Viveiro to get to our house in Area. It was 8:30 PM, sunny and warm. Everyone was out walking and I did make one obsevation. Viveiro has a population of about 16,000 ….4000 are over 65. All of the older people were wearing a mask, not one younger person under 60 that I saw was wearing a mask and the sidewalks were crowded with people in groups just talking and having a good time. People are just trying to have a normal time, tired of being in the house. I get it, I am too. And because there hasn’t been a single case of the virus recorded in Viveiro, the people feel safe and it would be impossibe for the Civil Guard to enforce. And everyone personally knows the Civil Guard around here. They come to the house to get our wine. After weeks of cold and rain, yesterday and the rest of this week will be sunny. People will be out everyday just like yesterday. We shall see in a week or two if anyone gets sick. I will be wearing a mask if I go to Viveiro but around here I do not.

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  • I think that we are all very ready to get out of the house and see some friends or family. I live in Sacramento, California. People have been doing a decent job of social distancing and most businesses are closed. I am getting the feeling that we are all getting very restless. There is not universal minimum income here and it is nearly impossible to even get through to the unemployment office to apply for benefits. There is pain, fear, and anxiety. I have friends who have not had a paycheck, nor government support save the pittance from the government in 10 weeks. It is very sad. Of course, all of that being said, we did not experience what you did in Spain. I pray for an orderly reopening of the world.

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    • You’re right. Ppl are afraid for their livelihoods and their future. And we are social creatures. We need each other. In Valencia, ppl live in apartments, mostly. And they spend their days at work or outside in cafes. Its why there are so many of them. Its unprecedented in our lifetimes. Who knows when its ‘the right time’. We will learn as we go. I think our fears are based on expectations. Although now they’re saying we have the antibodies. We shall see.

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  • I’m so saddened to read this but not at all surprised. It was so impressive to read how well everyone responded to the lockdown, abiding by the closures and then the semi-release per age groups. It was especially impressive given what has occurred in the US. It’s been disgusting. Especially the idiots waving their guns around, letting us know what little dicks they really have. So it especially saddens me to see some Spaniards taking this same tact, minus the guns. I’ve been surprised that the initial loosening of the rules didn’t cause more folks to just cut loose but I’m sorry to see what will occur moving through May. Same as here in the US. So we stay home, take care of things we need to do. Or want to do. Or nothing. At least we both get a good walk in early in the day. Fingers crossed that the Spain #s are low enough the rate remains low.

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    • Jeff is hoping that it will settle down as the week goes on and ppl get used to the expanded freedom. Masks are mandatory outside as of tomorrow when its not possible to stay 2m from others. Perhaps that will remind ppl of the continued risk we face. Its not over yet.

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      • We are one week ahead of you, here in Galicia. Day 1 of phase 1 was crazy; I was watching from my balcony and it was scary how many people were out, in groups, with no masks, waiting anxiously to get a table at the café… (some cafés opened on Monday and decided not to open again because of people’s irresponsible behaviour). Things have now settled down a bit.

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        • I was hoping to go for a drive but Jeff says that people are crazy now and we should wait a bit for them to get it out of their system before we attempt an adventure. I know we’re all a little stir crazy. Hoping our move to phase 2 allowing us all to sit on the sand at the beach will not be as bad as the streets last night.

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