Today is day two of Spain’s official lockdown. Yesterday, it was hard to believe it was happening. Here we were, in our peaceful rural paradise, enjoying the blue skies and warm sunshine. We had breakfast, coffee, and lunch out on the terrace – taking the opportunity to boost our Vitamin D.
If we’d been without any kind of media, we’d have been oblivious to what’s going on elsewhere. We are, if you didn’t know, probably the only two people in the developed world who didn’t find out about the 2004 tsunami until a week after it happened.
Back then, we had no TV, radio, Internet, or landline telephone – and no mobile coverage. Ignorance is bliss, they say. Now, every medium that exists bombards us with information…not all of it reliable or relevant.
The Sound of Silence
In terms of traffic, Sunday is our valley’s busiest day (but it’s all relative). This is when the grown-up offspring of our mallorquín neighbours return to the family home for a big gathering over lunch. Not yesterday. Lockdown means no visits to family or friends.
We’re social distancing. It’s just The Boss and me – and our six cats – for the duration. And today, the Spanish government is saying that the lockdown period is likely to be extended beyond 15 days.
The prospect of a possible lockdown dangled like a carrot on a stick for a while. Fifteen whole days at home. Think of all the jobs we could do – like decorating. If only we had the paint to do it, eh?
There’s a raft of possible activities to fill our days, such as sorting out cupboards, photographs, and paperwork. I have a wardrobe that could do with some pruning (I need a bit more space inside it, for the reason you can read below). I also have a Kindle bursting with unread books, and a novel to finish writing.
My gastronomy/hospitality radio show – Table Talk – has been pulled off air for four weeks. It’s hardly appropriate to broadcast about gastronomy and hospitality with all restaurants, bars, cafes, and hotels closed. Instead, I’m on duty researching and producing Coronavirus update bulletins for Mallorca Sunshine Radio. A couple of times a day I slip into my home studio (otherwise known as the guest-room wardrobe) to record my bulletins. Ah, the glamour of the media world!
Whereas yesterday was sunny and warm and made the whole lockdown thing seem unreal, nature has delivered the weather today to match the mood of the nation. It was raining when we woke up and now it’s just grey and a bit chilly. I wouldn’t fancy going out anyway.
Perhaps you’ve seen on TV news coverage that people across Spain are joining together each evening – in spirit, if not in person? It’s an act of solidarity to pay homage to health workers and those who are keeping essential services going. At eight o’clock each evening, we take to our open windows, balconies, or terraces to applaud these people.
Here in rural Mallorca, The Boss and I are taking part, even though it’s only sheep likely to hear us. As people have been doing in Italy, the Spanish will soon be breaking into song as well at this time. I think The Boss and I will stick to clapping: no need to frighten the sheep even more with The Boss’s singing (only joking, The Boss).
Spain’s Latest Official Stats
Today, Monday 16th, the official figures show that Spain now has 8,744 confirmed cases of Coronavirus – 60% of which are in the Madrid region alone. Deaths have reached 297. People in hospital number 3,815 – with 410 in intensive care. The country’s population is just under 47 million.
In the Balearics, 73 cases are confirmed (18 new cases diagnosed in the past 24 hours); four patients are in intensive care and there’s been one death. The majority of the cases are in Mallorca.