Valencia is one of the 20% of Spanish communities NOT requesting to move to the next phase from next Monday. We are making great progress but are not quite ready to advance. That’s OK. I’d rather wait another week than risk anyone’s health.
There was an article in Las Provincias today about how they’re tracking the contagion in Valencia now. Sure, you can still get tested. But they’re doing something else that is interesting. They’re testing waste water in areas of the city and throughout the province to monitor the presence of the virus.
So, while not everyone has felt symptoms or been tested for the virus, or the presence of antibodies, authorities can tell exactly where there is a concentration in the community via waste. And they know that we are going in the right direction because they can prove it with science. We are not flying blind.
On May 12 we had 1.2mm parts per litre of virus (This is not the proper way to say this). And on May 30th we had 70k per litre. That’s a huge drop in the presence. They’re using this to pinpoint areas of concern and to advise leaders on what steps should be taken and where they should focus. All of this provides a level of comfort in venturing out to explore our old haunts. And that’s just what we did this morning.
It was so nice to get out and continue to do some of what we used to do. Heading into the city center today to pick up provisions, the place is pretty deserted. The church bells were pealing but we weren’t sure why. This is the last day of the 10 days of mourning, so Jeff thought that is perhaps why they were ringing with abandon.
El Corte Ingles is open now. Entering this building, I felt my heart lift and I stopped in to pick up some of my favorites. The shelves were stacked with huevos de pato (duck eggs). I haven’t had a duck egg in 3 months. And my lovely leche de cabra (goat milk) in glass bottles. Hello – my old friends!
Then, it was a quick hop to the Mercat Central for my mantaquilla de cabra (goat butter) at the cheesemongers. The herb vendor was out of my cardamomo but we have some seeds at home and Jeff has been hulling them, and grinding the spice for my coffee by hand since we entered lockdown. So he’ll have to do that for a little longer.
Our walk was lovely. I took some photos like a tourist. Wandering through streets we took for granted only a few months ago.
Knowing the leaders of the Valencian community are being cautious, and looking out for our health and safety is everything. Our first tentative steps outside have changed and we’re more confident as we venture forth. Life is not the same as before, but as each new bit of freedom is bestowed, it’s an opportunity to appreciate what we have and how far we’ve come in the last 3 months. Just a bit of patience and we’ll get to the finish line.