The Spanish government response to the pandemic seemed extreme to many. Yes, it was difficult. But as the virus struck close to home we knew what they were doing was vital in saving the people of the country. No matter how tough it was going to be on the economy. The measures they have taken were the right thing to do.
On June 21, the borders of the Schengen Area within the EU were opened to member countries. Most had the virus under control. Yes, there were some outbreaks but they were being swiftly dealt with. Fingers crossed. As of July 1st, the EU will open its borders to many countries in the rest of the world – who have demonstrated they have functioning pandemic policies in place, and test and trace capabilities. I’m very glad to say my own country, Estados Unidos (EEUU), will not be one of those countries. They need to get their act together over there before they allow one American to come over here.
But I am alarmed that the Brits will be allowed to travel to Spain to their holiday homes and spend the summer. Britain is second only to the US in their utter nonsensical handling of this pandemic and their callous disregard for their own people’s lives. And I’m very worried we’ll end up paying for their stupidity, like New Zealand, who was Covid-free until 2 British women flew from London and both tested positive upon arrival. And I don’t think we’re alone in our fears of this.
Yesterday we made a trip to the Bauhaus (Home Depot of Spain) in our car. We headed down to the parking garage in the sub-basement and to our surprise there were very few cars left. It was like a ghost town down there – which means our building is cleaned out of residents. As we pulled out onto the street we saw empty places all over the streets. Street after street. None of the usual higgly-piggly parking jobs. Nope. Parking for ALL! And it made us wonder.
There have been a few outbreaks in Aragon and Malaga. Spikes that no one wants to see. One at a Red Cross center and another after a family party where they said ‘But it was just our family and friends.’ As though your family and friends can’t possibly have it, because, well they’re your family and friends. Jeff thinks people are in Valencia are scared and instead of waiting to get stuck in their apartments in the city during August, they’ve gone to their second homes now, while they still can. Even if it’s more than a month earlier than normal. I mean, if you can work from home here, why can’t you do it from Gandia or Denia or up in a mountain town? A village has a smaller population than a big city like ours, and an outbreak can be well controlled. Many of these mountain towns will just dump a pile of gravel on the access roads and shut it down like they did in March.
Last evening we went to our favorite local restaurant in the neighborhood – Saigon Saigon. They serve pan-Asian food and they know us. When we sat down at our socially distanced table, the waiter asked if we wanted our ‘usual’. I can’t tell you how much that meant to us, after 4 months he remembered what we like to eat and drink. And he brought us a free appetizer. He had some customers but the place was pretty deserted.
We’re looking out the window today and there is no one on the streets. Even traffic looks more like lockdown-level traffic. Jeff looked concerned.
‘I wish we were leaving for Galicia this coming Saturday. If they lock us down to Phase 3 again we’ll be stuck here in the province.’
With the Brits allowed in on 1 July I’m worried he’s right. But I’m going to think of the upside. Our parking space in the garage is so narrow, usually we can barely get in and out of the car – let alone backing it into the space without one of us directing the other. But now? Without any other cars, we can drive around the garage like mad men and not hit anything but a pillar. And that seems completely appropriate in a world gone mad.