Life Under Lockdown

Life Under Lockdown

I’d taken the canine down, too, and the children, since they hadn’t been outside in days. It was midnight—proper after we finished dinner—and I figured they might carry a trash bag and get a breath of air. The dog had barely peed when the patrol car did a U-flip, blue lights flashing. I defined that I needed helpers with the trash bags (and, let’s be honest, recycling all the bottles). "No hay excusas, caballero," the officer told me. "Youngsters inside." We had been fortunate; fines for violating the lockdown can go as high as 30,000 euros.

It’s day three, however seems like day 30, of a nationwide shutdown meant to curb, if not arrest, the spread of coronavirus in what has now develop into one of the worst-hit international locations within the outbreak. Confirmed cases in Spain are as much as eleven,681, with 525 deaths—scratch that: Since I began writing, cases are as much as thirteen,716 and deaths to 558. The curve is steeper than Italy’s.

The prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, told a close to-empty parliament Wednesday morning that the "worst is yet to come." His spouse has already tested optimistic for the coronavirus; King Felipe, who will address the nation Wednesday night, has been tested as well, by his got here up negative. There’s no Liga soccer matches; the Real Madrid staff is in quarantine, which, given how they’ve been taking part in, is probably for the best. There’s no Holy Week in Seville, no Fallas in Valencia.

It’s a glimpse of what’s coming for you, if it hasn’t already. Italy’s been shut down for weeks; France started Monday. Some cities in the United States are already there; the rest shall be, sooner or later. Nobody is aware of for how long. Spain’s state of emergency was introduced as a 15-day measure. The day it was announced, the federal government said it might go longer. Health consultants say close to-total shutdown is likely to be wanted till a vaccine for the new coronavirus is ready. That could be next year.

Since I work from residence anyway, I figured a lockdown can be no big deal. I was wrong. I’d swear the children have been underfoot all day, day by day for several years, though I'm told schools have been closed less than weeks. Cabin fever is getting so bad I am severely thinking of making an attempt to dig out the stationary bike from wherever it’s buried. Now my wife and I fight over who gets to take out the dog rather than who has to—dogs are the passport to being able to stroll outside without getting questioned by the police, at least for adults. Too bad all the parks are closed.

What was routine is now an adventure: You want gloves and a mask to go grocery shopping. (Essential companies—grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and, of course, tobacco shops are still open.) I haven’t seen any panic shopping in our neighborhood; plenty of rest room paper and pasta on the shelves. Of course, it’s hard to panic shop too hard when it's a must to carry everything dwelling a half mile or so on foot. Even a half-case of beer gets heavy going uphill. Friends in other elements of town say the bigger stores have a beach-town-in-August vibe of absurdly overfilled carts and soul-crushing lines.

The worst part, for a city like Madrid, and a country like Spain, is that nothing else is open. Town that's said to have the most bars per capita doesn’t have any now. No restaurants either. The entire many, many Chinese-owned bodegas that dot the middle metropolis all of the sudden went on "trip" in the beginning of March; now they're shuttered.

All of those waiters and waitresses and cooks and bar owners and barbers and taxi drivers—how are they going to last weeks, not to mention months? The government plans to throw loads of money on the problem—maybe 100 billion euros in loan guarantees, perhaps more. There are promises of more assist for the unemployed. Layoffs are being undone by law. Who’s going to pay for that? Who’s going to have any money to go out to eat if and when anything does open?

The prime minister is true: The worst is but to come. It’s going to get brutal within the summer. Spain gets about 12 percent of its GDP from tourism. Entire towns along the coast live off three months of insane work. This year there won’t be any. Unemployment earlier than the virus hit was almost 14 %, and more than 30 percent among the under-25s. Spain was nonetheless, a decade after the monetary crisis, licking its wounds and deeply scarred; this is a loss of life blow, not a body blow.

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