It was a challenge to stay in the eye of the hurricane during last week's rollercoaster. The Coronavirus had gripped the world since late 2019. At first everyone was a bit laughing about it. A virus can only strike if your immune system is weakened. No problem, because ours is ok. We eat healthy, try to avoid stress, get enough sleep and keep negativity away from us. Every now and then we followed the media and were amazed at the culture of fear surrounding the Corona virus.
Until one of our sons was here last week. A day after arrival he became quite ill. Two days later, Cees was in bed with serious complaints. I walked up and down with lemons from our orchard and washed the bedding every day.
After our son was back in the Netherlands, Cees felt better and we zoomed in on the Corona virus here and it became clear that this virus is very contagious. The “flatten the curve” movie was the bomb. As of Thursday last week, we voluntarily opted for quarantine. In the meantime, we called several times to request a test. Authorities were now too busy and understaffed; there was no call back. One of our daughters-in-law works as a microbiologist at Erasmus MC in Rotterdam. We learned from her that when the virus had struck, it could be transmitted up to 24 hours after the complaints were over. That gave us courage; around Saturday we would be able to go out again. Last Saturday it became clear that the number of infections in Spain was increasing exponentially. A state of emergency was declared by the government. A day later, the announcement of a complete ‘lockdown’ followed from Monday morning at 8:00 AM.
The word ‘lockdown’ sounded awful; in fact, it means that everyone (except the vital organs of society) must stay at home to minimize the chance of not becoming infected and thereby not infecting others. On various media we saw fights around toilet paper, shots of empty shelves, of tourists who went outside anyway to lockdown parties. How different our experience here in the Valley of Happiness. Last week people immediately offered to cook and to buy groceries from all sides when it turned out that we had quarantined ourselves.
WhatsApp groups are now being created where people inform each other positively and offer help. Like many Spaniards, we go out on our balcony at 8 pm to applaud for doctors, healthcare staff and others who work to make life as good as possible. There is singing and music.
Let's hope the Coronavirus doesn't end up with too many victims in the end and helps us choose things that are really important and meaningful. Solidarity, connection with each other and connection with our earth and animals.
In the meantime, our thoughts are with those who are not healthy or at high risk of getting sick, and their families. For the rest of us, let's be thankful for everything we do have. And that is a lot! These can prove to be very interesting times for all of us.