Many people are asking what it is like to live in Spain at the moment during lockdown / quarantine because of the Coronavirus. So here it is:
We are in total quarantine / lockdown due to Covid-19 as from midnight on the 14th March 2020. Originally for 15 days but this has now been extended fof a further 15 days so will be 30 days in total.
So, what does that mean?
*Everything is closed apart from pharmacies, supermarkets and petrol stations.
*All bars, restaurants and shops are closed.
*We’re not allowed to leave the house unless it’s to buy food or an emergency situation.
*We’re not allowed more than 1 person in a car.
*We’re only allowed to walk our pets within 50 metres of our house and on your own.
*We’re not allowed to go for a walk or a bike ride to get fresh air
*All childrens outdoor parks are closed.
*All beaches are closed.
*In supermarkets you cannot enter unless you are wearing gloves.
*In supermarkets and queues we have to stay in single file with a 2 meter distance between each person.
*Many hospital appointments have been cancelled
*There are hefty fines if you do not abide by the rules.
I personally think the Spanish government has done the right thing. Social distancing is the one thing to keep this thing from spreading. Other than a few tourists, everyone took the new rules very seriously right from the beginning. Hopefully this will help. One complaint was that before lockdown, the people from Madrid moved to their villas on the coast or countryside which has spread the virus around the country.
It may all sound scary but it actually hasn’t been that bad at all so far. Other than the first couple of days when everyone was panic buying, the supermarkets are fully stocked. There is absolutely no shortage of food.
The only difference is that to stop the virus speading they are preventing over crowding so limiting the number of people in the shops at a time. You have to queue outside keeping a distance from other people.
Everyone wears face masks and gloves. Trying not to spread the virus. The facemask is to protect others if you have the virus, it won’t protect you from catching it. Apparently the virus can stay on coins for up to 3 hours, cartons for 24 hours and on plastic for up to 3 days! Not sure how long on glass but it will be a while. You are therefore advised to use gloves while shopping and when you get home wipe your groceries with 1% bleach and the rest water.
Other than the few people out shopping, the streets are eerily quiet and empty. My advice would be to do the same – stay at home if you can!
My parents and a family friend were staying with me when lockdown was announced. They were unable to get a flight home sooner so we kept entertained with some painting, decorating and gardening.
I was lucky enough to have everything I needed for my DIY projects, paint, compost, tools, seeds.
If your country has not already enforced a lockdown chances are they will do soon. My advice would be not to panic buy from the supermarkets, there really is no need, they will stay open. Do buy any stuff you need for all those household jobs you’ve been putting off. If you are quarantined and have to stay at home it’s a perfect chance to tick off items on your to do list!
The one thing I have done in terms of food is to cook up some healthy meals to put in the freezer. This isn’t because I think food will run out. It’s because if I do get the virus I won’t want to cook. It will be much easier to just get some wholesome soup out of the freezer and put it in the microwave!
Children will get bored when stuck at home so make sure you have plenty of books, games, craft supplies etc to keep them entertained. See our blog here for some online entertainment ideas for kids – big and small!
The show of kindness and support has really been wonderful and quite overwhelming. Our yoga and pilates intructors have put free exercise videos on youtube so that we can carry on keeping fit at home. Digital libraries are offering free downloads of books and films. Friends, family and neighbours are calling and texting everyday to check up on eachother and make sure everyone is ok. Groups have been set up with volunteers to take care of anyone that can’t get out to do their own shopping. Every night at 8pm we all go out onto our balconies to give a big round of applause to all the health workers that are working around the clock for us. Magazines are putting their latest editions online for free. Television companies are putting free films online for streaming or download.
Internet and phones are all working perfectly so I am still able to work. As you can imagine work is very quiet at the moment and a few early spring weddings are being postponed. Still, it gives me more time to write blogs 🙂
It’s not so bad being stuck at home, catching up on jobs, keeping fit, enjoying a good book and as there is plenty of food, enjoying a nice meal on the terrace with a bottle of wine 🙂
My family flew back to the UK today. I couldn’t drive them to the airport as you can only have one person in a car now. Taxi drivers and chauffeur driven cars can take more passengers though. Jesus, a lovely guy I work with who has a luxury car service, kindly offered to take them at a heavily discounted price.
I will miss them terribly , especially as we don’t know when we will be able to travel again to see eachother. Thankfully modern technology allows us all to keep in touch easily.
I have now had to find some new friends to have dinner with.
Lots of love and stay safe & stay home everybody 😘