Friday 19 June 2020 – Saturday 20 June 2020
The end of lockdown is here. At 2359 on Saturday 20 June 2020 the whole of Spain passed into the “new normality”. This means that we are now free to live our lives where and how we wish, with a few provisos. Social distancing will be in force until such time as a cure or a vaccine for Covid-19 has been found, but the distance has been reduced to 1.5 metres. Face masks must still be worn where social distancing is not possible, and premises must be sanitised on a regular basis. Personal hygiene is crucial too. In the event of a new wave of infections, localised lockdowns will be possible, but a new State of Alarm would be required for confinement on a national or state level – which the government has said it will ask for again if necessary. When they can’t get their statistics together anyway, I’m not even sure how they will monitor this.
So, 97 days of the official State of Alarm have been and gone. For us that means 99 days as we started to isolate two days before it was official. Well, everything was shut anyway so it didn’t make a big difference that weekend which seems oh so long ago now. During that time it has been reported that a massive 1.2 MILLION individual fines for non-compliance were issued by the Spanish police and there were 9,000 arrests too. How many fines will hold up in the appeals process remains to be seen as different police officers seemed to interpret the rules in different ways!
So now we await the arrival on the Spanish coast of visitors from the interior coming to their summer homes. The concern is that Madrid continues to struggle with its infection numbers, yet the government have made it a personal responsibility to try to keep the virus at bay so even if someone is feeling unwell, there’s nothing to stop them seeking some fresh sea air! The country also opens up to international tourism which brings with it its own concerns. I hope the air traffic controllers at Alicante airport haven’t go too used to it being so quiet. Sunday morning will come with a vengeance.
So, how did we spend the last two days of lockdown? Well, Trish bought some more gin for her collection! To be fair, one of the bottles was the grapefruit gin that I like. Shopping in Mas y Mas brought a bit of a surprise. Gloves have been replaced by plastic bags with hands printed on them! After having had a sociable week, Friday night was home-made curry night rather than a night out on the town.
On Saturday I met up with my fellow Real Betis supporters in Elche and we watched in horror as our team succumbed to another defeat which saw the end of the manager’s tenure. Whilst there I rather enjoyed watching Brighton beat Arsenal in their return to action with a very, very late winning goal.
Summer temperatures are just around the corner now and we spent Saturday evening out in the garden feasting on a barbecue. It was lovely sat out there until it cooled down at about 9.30pm.
The garden is looking quite nice actually. There has been some unusual wildlife there too with a rare sighting of a bumble bee and a tiny green grasshopper. The plants are doing ok. The sunflower has thrived and now stands at about 5ft tall. It looks like it’s about to flower. The cherry tomatoes are ripening nicely and even the upside-down basil has survived!
We haven’t watched an awful lot of TV recently, but what we have seen has certainly whet our appetites for travelling again as soon as it’s safe to do so. The BBC’s Art of Persia has us itching to visit new countries whilst Channel 5’s The World’s Most Scenic Railway Journeys has us wanting to go back to Sri Lanka.
A sense of humour has certainly been required during the past 99 days. I’m sure it will be equally important in the days, weeks and months to come. It’s nice to have some non-Covid funnies though.
So, there you go. Lockdown is over. Should anything else happen then I will, of course make the occasional post, but if all goes well then the new normality will all work out as they hope. Stay safe though, and remember to continue sanitising. Sanity is relative though, as you know by now.