So, we’re beginning week two of the national quarantine/state of emergency. On the 29th we’ll reach the first 15 day mark, but the government has already decided we’ll be going another 15 days after that. Most likely there’ll be another 15 days after that, too. We’ll see.
Honestly, besides no being able to go outside (which is huge in it’s self), life is relatively normal. I read, watch series online, do puzzles, draw, teach online, do yoga, etc. My roommates Paige (Irish) and Marion (French), and I are glad for each others company, even though I think sometimes we get a little annoyed with each other, but that makes sense with the situation we’re in haha ;)
Our set up is nice though, we each have our own rooms we can retreat into when we need space and then we have the common area where we can watch movies and just hang out. For exercise we walk (me and my darn asthma) and run (Paige and Marion) the stairs and occasionally do zumba together (sorry downstairs neighbors!).
Every night we join in with everyone else in the country and clap out our windows at 8pm. People have also begun playing music and the police cars will do a mini parade and honk when they go by. We also take this time to greet and check in with our neighbors, who do the same for us.
Each of us has gone out once or twice to take out the trash/recycling or get food. I’ve been out three times in the past 12 days. I think what I’m missing the most is walking.
Without a dog we can’t justify going for walks, and even those with dogs aren’t supposed to go more than 15 meters from their house. The rest of us have to stay in unless we’re going to the supermarket, going to the pharmacy, the bank or going to the hospital/doctors. The police patrol and will stop cars and people they suspect of not complying. Everyone is expected to work from home unless they work in one of the essential areas above.
I went to the supermarket again today and the atmosphere was just as strange as last week. Everyone keeps their distance, wears the plastic gloves that are offered at the door, and many have masks or scarves wrapped around their faces. There are signs everywhere and announcements on the speakers reminding people to maintain at least 1.5 meters between each other. At the cash register, there are lines of tape each a meter apart marking where people stand in line. The cashiers have masks and gloves, and disinfect their scanner after every customer. They also have hanging plexiglass squares between them and the bagging area/the customer. People still greet each other and are polite, but everyone seems guarded.
This is a weird time to say the least. I think a lot of people didn’t take it seriously at first, especially from what I’ve heard from friends in the US. A lot of young people seem to have the mindset that this virus won’t affect them. It makes no sense to me. Yes, you may be completely fine if you get this virus, or you may not have symptoms, but there are people around you that won’t be fine. They seem to have forgotten about all the people with pre existing conditions, compromised immune systems, asthma, etc. Not to mention the people with no access to healthcare. The US is going to have some serious problems. People here in Spain have told me repeatedly how they don’t understand how people don’t have health insurance in the US. They can’t believe the prices I tell them, because for them healthcare is a right everyone has. Now, that being said, I know every system has it’s flaws. Nothing is perfect. However, I hope the US will see that universal healthcare is a must after this pandemic. I just wish it would have been in place sooner. I feel for the homeless, the people without access to healthcare, the kids who only have access to a hot meal at school and the parents trying to take care of children while working.
That’s another danger with being stuck inside like this, really for anyone, but especially for those with anxiety and depression—my mind begins to perseverate on all the sad and the hate in the world. I’m working on it though. What I can and can’t control. I’m trying to keep my mind and body busy.
Thank goodness for wifi and phones. Being able to stay connected to loved ones and friends is huge during all of this. I feel like it will also be a test for the internet and technology as a whole around the world- everyone is using it all at the same time. I heard Netflix would be lowering their quality due to the high traffic. Here, wifi has slowed down a ton, but the phone companies are offering lots of free GBs and data packages for people to stay connected.
I worry about my friends and family in the US constantly, just I imagine they worry about me and my family members here in Spain. Thankfully most everyone I know seems to be taking this seriously and staying home, which is reassuring. My family members in Alicante are hunkered down and prepared to ride out the storm as well. We talk every few days and check in. The government discouraged travel in country and of course internationally (they closed the borders to non essentials last week), so I decided to stay put in Logroño and not go down to Alicante. At the beginning of all this, the region where I’m at was one of the main outbreak zones in Spain, so I also didn’t want to unknowingly take anything down to my family in Alicante or risk getting anything myself in transit.
Despite everything, I feel safe. I have healthcare here (unlike in the US) and I’m lucky to be in a good apartment/roommate situation and still have an income even though schools are shut.
So here’s to another day inside. The plan today is puzzling, reading, doing some yoga later and calling family.
May we all be extra kind to ourselves and others during this time.
Sending virtual hugs!
An aspiring polyglot and globetrotter, an avid reader, and a lover of good food. :)