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CoronaVirus Lockdown

Growing Old – Lock Down Day 43

Today besides hearing the sounds of small children outside for the first time, we finally woke to some positive news, last night the government announced that “If the evolution of the pandemic keeps moving in a positive manner, starting on May 2 outings will be allowed for individual activity and for walks with the people that we live with.” They did reiterate though, that only if the figures keep on the downward slope, so I guess we shouldn’t get our hopes up too high. They state “On May 10, barring any further extensions to the state of alarm, Spain will start transitioning back to what many hope will be something similar to the life they had before the Covid-19 pandemic. But experts note that the de-escalation will not take place at the same speed everywhere across the country” it may depend on the figures they present. Also we are told that there may be isolated enforcements and restrictions imposed again if there is found to be an area which has an escalation of cases. At the moment though I will fall into the lucky first few, our Province has continuously shown to be one of the least to spread the virus as people mostly have genuinely isolated, also health care figures show that we have less severe cases and deaths with the same ratio of cases in our state and Country.

This of course is down to our excellent health care workers and the way the police have handled the situation helping to keep spirits high and without a heavy hand. Knowing that we are in an area to start off restriction easing gives hope for May 2cnd, in a weeks time I may be going out for my first walk in 50 days! Some other virus news from El Pais news (in English) From today, children in Spain under 14 will be able to go out for walks between 9am and 9pm, within a one-kilometre radius of their homes and in the company of an adult. Besides giving advice to wash bicycles or toys down on return, and general hygiene necessities, this is one of the questions asked: Given children can’t use street furniture, can they sit on the grass? The official reply was “Generally that’s not advisable. In the grass, as well as dirt, there can also be animal excrement. It’s been found that the excrement of cats could have the virus and street cats are not controlled” Well that was my top of the list thing to do, walk to the park and lay on the grass!

Spain has by far the highest number of coronavirus infections amongst healthcare workers, according to available official data by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) 20% of registered coronavirus cases in Spain are healthcare workers. “More than a thousand Spanish healthcare workers are in isolation and thousands more will have to be tested after being exposed to the novel coronavirus due to defective face masks. The batch of faulty material was ordered to be withdrawn on Friday. There is no exact figure as yet as to how many staff used the items, and the Health Ministry does not know how many masks from the batch of 350,000 to 400,000, according to sources, did not meet the requirements. This has contributed to the more than 31,000 healthcare professionals who have contracted the virus, with dozens of official deaths so far including 34 doctors. The real figure is likely to be much higher, among nursing staff, there are thought to be 70,000 coronavirus cases according to a recent survey by a nurses association”. These front line health workers have really proven to be true hero’s who carried on working whilst not having enough protection, and since having it they now discover it was defective.

Again defective supply’s “The Spanish government is trying to get back the money it paid for 640,000 antigen coronavirus tests that it purchased via a Spanish distributor from a Chinese company called Bioeasy. The move comes after the health authorities found that the kits – which were meant to replace another lot that was found to be faulty – don’t work either”! I feel after this emergency it will become of great importance to start to look at the quality of supplies within our health care systems. Governments have spent many millions if not billions on faulty supplies these last months, in health care quality is paramount, this crisis showed a shortage of supplies leaving Chinese products the only option, but it seems this was the standard supply for face masks etc. before. With a lack of regulated producers to step up production it seems governments didn’t have much choice, maybe now these products seen to be non effective, standards should be stepped up as they pose a threat in normal times too, how much has gone un- noticed.

A study of the first 28 genomes of the virus rules out the existence of a single ‘patient zero’ in Spain and Genetic analysis suggests that the coronavirus was already circulating in by mid-February. This again poses the question of whether many of us had the virus? Early February many people were ill with a flu they couldn’t shake off, 2 friends had antibiotics for a sore throat and cough that wouldn’t go away, 1 friend was taken into hospital and by mid February it was impossible to get a doctors appointment. My own Son had a weeks holiday the around Valentines day and spent it recovering from a sore throat and fever. There was a 2 week waiting list to see the doctor, that week he had at least 3 days when we considered going to the emergency as he felt he couldn’t breathe at times, but he put it off for tomorrow as you do, to see if it got worse. It did eventually subside but, still lingered with a sore throat emerging every few days and slight temperature, this goes for myself and many friends although the breathing was not like my sons.

The Government will start testing for a survey hoping to give an accurate measure of the true figures involved, 36,000 households located across Spanish territory and covering all age sectors in a proportional manner. Around 90,000 people in total will be tested, according to the document. Each person will be subject to 2 types of tests 3 times, with a three-week gap between sampling, there will be a rapid inmunocromatographic test, which in 10 minutes detects antibodies after a simple pinprick method, and also a more complete blood test will be carried out known as Elisa, which offers a full analysis of the quantity of the immune response that has been generated. If in the next two weeks the first round of testing has been completed, the initial results may determine the early de-escalation steps.

We have a few local social media groups that were set up from the beginning, one is called Friday Live and as the name suggests Friday nights have live performances by local musicians. I have watched a few and missed many but this Friday I managed to watch my “builder” neighbour after missing last time. I was surprised to find out that I know nothing about him or his past! He sang protest songs he wrote 30 years ago about peace and environmental issues. He played the most beautiful guitar piece I have heard in years, joking he was spiritually possessed, obsessed with it until finished and said “I don’t know where it came from, I usually work on putting pieces together but this one was just there, it appeared from nowhere” he has called the piece A Spiritual Dance. This again reminds me not to take people at face value only, we really don’t know their whole story, although I have known him for 15 years and know quite a lot I didn’t know this side of his music, he told me years ago on another subject, “Life takes over” this is true many, parts become hidden.

I wish you a happy Sunday, although I’m sure like most of us one day now runs into the next, here is today’s good news called “‘Circle of life‘: First baby bison born on Wanuskewin land since before 1876! enjoy. Please stay safe and take precautions to protect yourself and loved ones including taking care of your mental health, I have been given today a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, I hope yours comes soon too, its a beautiful feeling 💜

Light at the end of the Tunnel
Photo by Farzad Ebrahimzade on Unsplash

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