Its all Over

Well, that’s it. The crisis is over. Perhaps you don’t believe me but it’s totally true. And I know this because the yard sticks that measure a pandemic are flashing red. It’s definitely over.

The first sign is that we are down to one roll of toilet paper. I won’t say I was one of those hoarders at the beginning of lock down, but we did have a healthy Costco-sized supply in el baño. And I just put the last roll on the holder. So lock down is pretty much over. It’s the rules. I don’t make the rules.

The next indicator is that the teenagers who have historically gathered on the bench across the street in the evenings are back. Like brightly colored birds returning after the winter – and there are dozens of them. They primp. They preen. There’s a mating dance. And you can tell the girls from the boys, not just by their hair or clothing, but because the boys wear the masks and the girls don’t. It’s weird, but across the board it’s a universal truth. I guess masks just aren’t cute – until a Kardashian or a Cardi B tells them that it is. When they go to depart, the boys take off their masks to double cheek kiss the maskless girls. So the pandemic is completely over because everyone knows that teenager are the best barometers for health and safety.

Vandalism is up – another message scrawled on the wall screaming ‘Let’s get this over with!!’ We watched a group of teenagers completely destroy the Valenbici bikes on the corner (a different group than our usual bench sitters). This group of all boys are ones we have passed on our walks at night. They’re rowdy and they kick cars too. I understand pent up energy after months inside, but destroying public property goes too far.

I saw in the news that historical sites are being spray painted with graffiti. Not something you would have seen before and is alarming to the authorities. When we first got here we noticed there seemed to be a code for ‘street art’. Roll down shutters that weren’t already professionally painted – OK. But rarely on buildings themselves. Never, ever on historical landmarks that define the city. Now that has changed during the crisis and the protests, and a line has been crossed. Graffiti is worse than ever before.

Things will change after this. For us all. But the mood outside seems different now. More fraught. And with the easing of restrictions the police seem to have lost control. As the cafes and bars have opened with terrace tables, the crowded streets have given way to packed tables with no legal social distancing. And diners are not required to wear mask – or so it seems. We can see a cafe just across the tram tracks from our window. Tables for 4 had 10 people each. Those trying to pass on the sidewalk had no where to put their feet to run the gauntlet.

So while we wait for Phase 2 to be approved for next Monday – the citizens of the city have already moved themselves forward. Our R (# of people a single person with the virus can infect) has gone from a .66 three weeks ago to .88 last week. Today it sits at 1.1 – not a good trend. In March it was at 4.33. We’re going in the wrong direction.

Maybe everyone else in Valencia is using the same yard stick we are in El Compartimiento. Maybe they all got down to their last roll of toilet paper and thought ‘What the Hell! Let’s roll the dice. What’s the worst that could happen.’ I guess we’re about to find out.

4 thoughts on “Its all Over

  • I haven’t seen any vandalism here in Viveiro but there are loads of kids out and about now, some masked some not. I get it….people are tired of being in the house or restricted as to where they can go. When I went shopping for food the other day, I was gloved and masked, and it is hard to breathe, it’s very hot. But I will wear one until it’s safe not to. The number of new cases in Lugo were good, going down but let’s see in 2 weeks if it’s still going down.

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    • Exactly – In 2 weeks if we don’t see an uptick I’ll feel better about it all. Perhaps the hot weather will help a bit. The humidity has arrived in Valencia. Wearing latex gloves isn’t practical now. But we do put them on at the stores and use copious amounts of hand sanitizer. There will have to be a balance found before a vaccine is developed. What precautions work and which aren’t necessary. We can’t stay in forever.

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  • And no surprise, it’s a common site in the U.S. with people pouring back into the life they feel they deserve. What are they thinking? They’ve been ‘punished enough’??? We are all about to find out. Even though I excitedly read that Spain will be open up in July (even to US citizens, possibly) and have told my hubby that I need to go as soon as I can, I also know that we are probably going to see some big returns to what you all have gotten yourselves out of with you numbers dropping. I’ll still be surprised if any country opens their door to US citizens given our continuing to rise numbers and horrid leadership. And even if we are all open, where is the safety. So I sit and dream and wait but I don’t hold my breath.

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