Friday 13th March 2020

In the morning everything carried on as normal despite the overnight announcement that Brighton’s weekend football match with Arsenal had been postponed because the Gunners’ manager had tested positive. We did some light food shopping, still anticipating being in the UK the following week. Then we went for a walk, bought the paper, and sat in the sun at our normal seafront cafe drinking coffee. We were trying to keep away from other people just in case so chose an appropriate table. Some friends had told us about “social distancing” and we thought it sounded like a good idea.

This being Friday the 13th meant it had to be a horror day though, didn’t it! By the time we got home the Spanish government were starting to act. Cases of the virus were growing exponentially, especially in Madrid. All schools in the capital had been closed and people were to work from home as much as possible. Our plans to travel to the UK on Monday were looking doubtful at best.

Working from home and the kids not having school does not mean it’s time to pack up and head to your holiday home by the beach though. Try telling that to the masses from Madrid, a viral hot zone, as the roads were busier with the exodus than they are in the summer. The virus was now going to spread like wildfire throughout the country. Gracias amigos!

Things move quickly in a crisis. By mid afternoon the Spanish government had seen how the movement of people from the capital was posing a threat. The immediate solution was to close all bars and restaurants with effect from midnight. Of course, the virus wouldn’t do any damage before then! Maybe we should have gone out to eat but we decided to stay at home anyway. A mistake? Who knows when we can go to a restaurant again!

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