Since March 2020 we have lived with this unwanted guest
What actually is ‘Coronavirus’?
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.
Most people who fall sick with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate symptoms and recover without special treatment.
HOW IT SPREADS
The virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or exhales. These droplets are too heavy to hang in the air and quickly fall on floors or surfaces.
You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within close proximity of someone who has COVID-19, or by touching a contaminated surface and then your eyes, nose or mouth.
There is a lot more from the WHO website (No! Not Pete Townsend and Roger Daltry, the World Health Organisation)
March 2020 – Lockdown!
I arrived back in Spain from the UK just in time to be ‘locked down‘ or, for a better word ‘confined to camp!’ We were instructed by the Spanish government to “go home and stay home!”
There was a raft of restrictions, but, rather than bore you with a list, its easier to say that we could go to the shops and the medical centre but pretty much nowhere else. Also, you had to be wearing a mask and one person only from each household.
So, that is pretty much what we did.
The local town hall paid everyone a visit and handed out a surgical mask, one per person. It wasn’t a lot but at least it showed intent.
Shopping with Covid-19
Although I write the Nerja blog and spend a lot of time there, I actually live inland, in the countryside around the pretty village of Villanueva del Trabuco, north of Malaga city and close to Antequera, Archidona and Loja.
Shopping in the village, pre-covid-19 was pretty straight forward. We have several butchers, bakers, banks and so on.
Our main grocery shop is called ‘DIA’ (Distribuidora Internacional de Alimentación, S.A. is a Spanish international hard-discount supermarket chain founded in 1979 which as of 2012 operates 6,914 stores internationally, making it Europe’s third-largest food sector franchiser. It has also owned Schlecker in Spain and Portugal since 2013. Wikipedia)
‘Dia’ (pronounced like English ‘Deer’) is also the Spanish word for ‘day’. This, according to the locals and ex-pats alike, is the real meaning of the acronym, because, sometimes, it takes a day to get in and out.
I digress. The rules for entering any of the shops and other premises were simple, ‘one in, one out!’. Disinfect your hands with the gel provided and wear plastic gloves.
This created queues outside of masked people, two metres apart, all asking ‘who’s last?’ To be fair, people in the village were pretty good and I never saw anyone getting too upset.
This ‘lockdown’ was supposed to last for 15 days.
Getting on with it
The first few days were easy. Sleep until late, eat, watch the TV, overdo the hours on social media, watch the TV and then bedtime. The weather in March, in the mountains where I live, was mild, not sunbathing weather but at least we could be outside.
This was a bonus, other people were not so lucky. The rules allowed people out for 1 hour to walk the dog and exercise. We had to be 2 metres apart, masked up and within 1KM of our homes. That was it! If you were unfortunate enough to live in an apartment during these weeks, you had the walls to look at.
Bars, restaurants and other public places were closed. Stay indoors until you are told otherwise.
It’s amazing the things that we miss when they are taken from us. In normal times, not going to the local restaurant for a couple of weeks was not a problem, in Trabuco, we have plenty of places to eat. However, now that we couldn’t go to the local restaurants (El Cortijuelo) we were becoming anxious and needed our ‘Menu del Dia’ (Menu of the day; a 3-course meal for €8.50)
Just when we were getting desperate, restaurants were allowed to provide takeaway meals but delivery only. That was it! The people who run our local eatery were rushed off their feet.
And there is more
After the two weeks has passed, as luck would have it, we were told we could stay at home a few weeks more. Some restrictions were lifted, such as allowing two people from the same household in a car together, masked up, one driving and one in the rear passenger seat. We still could leave the village or gather in groups outside of the home and the menu del dia had still to be bussed in.
Gradually, things got better. The virus had peaked and the death rate and infections came down, slowly at first and then at some pace.
We were now allowed outside, allowed to go into shops, bars and restaurants, albeit masked up and two metres apart. It was looking like some kind of normal.
Tourism resumed in some places via ‘travel corridors’ which meant people could travel from countries with low Covid-19 staus to areas in Spain with low infection rates. The result was more infections.
Where we are at with Coronavirus / Covid-19
Like everywhere else in Europe, the Spanish government are coming out with new measures to try and combat the virus, which, unfortunately, has come back in a second wave. Instructions are often open to interpretation and vary from one autonomous community to another.
We are confined to our villages unless for work or health reasons (Hospital appointments etc) and we are expecting even more draconian measures in the coming weeks. Hey-ho!
Looking back on Covid-19 (Coronavirus) 2020
As I mentioned, I live in the countryside. From May onwards, the weather was beautiful (and continues to do so as I write November 6th 2020) and the skies were blue and clear of those damn jets and their horrible vapour trails.
Most days were spent outside in the little above-ground pool we bought or just pottering about. There was little DIY to do as it had already been done, thanks to Señor Covid. BBQ’s, long siestas and nighttimes spent under the porch watching shooting stars in the clear night skies helped to pass the time in a most pleasant way.
I have to admit to overdoing the eating, drinking and social media. I have put on several pounds and I have Netflixed myself out.
I’m not sure how much more of this Coronavirus I can take.