Day 56 sees many overwhelming Emotions flooding in whilst taking over my clarity and peace. Last night we heard that we will not be included in the next phase of easing lock down restrictions, it makes it harder to face as only the Granada and Malaga provinces have been left out of the area of Andalucia. If I travel 20 mins to the west, people and friends who are in the Provinces of Cadiz will see their shops open with restrictions, more people back to work and bars/restaurants can open only on outdoor terraces with a 50% capacity. To the East however, all along our coastal region we will remain in strict lock down with only 1hr exercise during allotted times, this of course means that I will not be seeing my son in 2 days time, I may have to wait another 2 weeks. This seems harder to face because for the last month our areas handling of, and comparatively well behaved public to adhere to the regulations, had led us to be one of the first possible areas to be easing restrictions, even stated by the Prime Minister.
So what a disappointment after so much expectation, we are all asking what happened? The short answer is that we don’t know for sure yet, it may be political, it maybe that the local government or health system is not prepared enough for new measures, and with no figures given some speculate there may have been many fines since we were allowed out for exercise and people not obeying regulations, we just don’t know. With 51% of the Spanish population moving into less draconian measures, this decision is clearly not based on infectious cases as we now have less than most with only 13 new cases reported in the last week. Another possibility is we are a coastal holiday destination and areas like Murcia and Valencia on the West coast have also been left out of their municipalities moving forward. I guess it will be harder to control beaches etc. with the many people who may flock to our areas as schools are closed now until September. Many will feel now after being locked inside for 2 months like taking a break on the coast, occupying second homes or the many holiday rentals that are now available. Whatever the reason, for today the disappointment is hard to face. Irritation is rising too outside this subject, we are suddenly infested with flies, buzzing around and landing on us all morning they are annoying, irritating and adding to the feelings of being angry, they are not usually so aggressive this time of year so the feeling of being attacked grows with each fly around your face.
Another kind of disappointment arises after the results of a study in Canada were released, showing that heat from our impending summer won’t kill off the virus either. Researchers examined the spread of Covid-19 around the world in late March in places with different humidities, latitudes and public health measures, such as social distancing. Dr Peter Juni, of the University of Toronto, said in a press release that the team found little or no link between infection spread and temperature or latitude, and only a weak association with humidity. “We had conducted a preliminary study that suggested both latitude and temperature could play a role. But when we repeated the study under much more rigorous conditions, we got the opposite result,” he said.
Day 57 after yesterdays emotional day with many discussions of the possibility of why, we found out that our province is just below the new requirements of % for ICU units per 10,000 residents, hopefully it can be increased in the next week. We actually have a brand new hospital in our town still waiting to be opened, over schedule of its Dec/ January opening, this once open may bring the numbers of units up to spec. The figures we think are not just for residents but for capacity when we have full occupancy with holiday makers. The concern is still high that tourist areas do get flooded and people stay in second homes or rentals if a second wave hits, then our health authorities couldn’t cope. More disturbing was this statement from José María García Urbano “Tourism is a pillar of our economy from which many families live. For this reason, at the meeting I held this afternoon with the Minister of Tourism I asked her to give equal treatment to the whole tourism sector and allow to expand ERTE in all municipalities of Spain. It is unacceptable that the central government has offered a favor deal to the tourist sector in the Canary Islands in exchange for the parliamentary support given by the Canarian Coalition for the extension of the state of alarm. You cannot discriminate or play with the economic survival of the rest of Spain’s citizens”. This statement begs the question of whether the 51% moving into the next phase are supporters or pledging support to the government!!!
Day 58 In my present state of mind this year is starting to feel Biblical, even our weather seems to be reacting to the mood of the people, during 50 days of full lock down unusually the sun in southern Spain only showed for a couple of days. It came out the day before we were allowed out for exercise and it went back in the day we were told we would have to wait a few more weeks to go into the next stage! Unfortunately rain, winds and cloud are forecast for at least the next 7 to 10 days.
Meanwhile: while the world is solely focused on corona, other virus outbreaks are erupting around the world spreading locally and threatening already overwhelmed healthcare systems. Dengue has infected 40,000 people so far this year in Indonesia alone, a 16% rise on past records. Latin American countries like Argentina are reporting more cases than corona and large outbreaks are happening in Singapore, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal. New outbreaks of cases involving Ebola are occurring in the Congo and Yellow Fever in Ethiopia. Both Mexico and Burundi are facing large outbreaks of measles and Saudi Arabia continues to battle an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, commonly known as MERS. Animal outbreaks are emerging too with India and South Africa both fighting outbreaks of African Swine Fever, and the US confirmed in April that a fatal strain of avian influenza had infected a commercial turkey flock in South Carolina.
After this year started with Australian bush fires that killed over a billion animals, wildfires have now lit up huge chunks of forest and farmland in Siberia and the Russian Far East with 9 regions affected. The Siberian Times has stated that the fires near Krasnoyarsk have taken over 10 times as much territory as last year, while fires in Transbaikal are triple the size of last year, and in the Amur region fires have engulfed 1.5 times more territory than last year.
There has also been an oil spill in the Amazon which is affecting all the tribes and people who rely on this river for all of life. Sickness is ensuing and with lockdowns in place they are finding supplies such as medicines and clean water difficult to come by. In the coming days I will write a separate blog dedicated to this subject.
Well reading through my own notes for the last few days, they are probably on record as the most depressing post of the whole diary! They don’t lift the spirits that’s for sure, so with the clouds and rain once again stopping my 1 hr walk this morning I searched for inspiration, at least I did find a couple of snippets to brighten the post!
This article shows Researchers at Griffith University in Australia suggesting that national parks and protected areas save an approximate $6 trillion globally in mental health care costs. Lead study author Ralf Buckley said while that is a “conservative” estimate, it’s still “10 times greater than the global value of park tourism and 100 times greater than the global value of park agency budgets.” Other studies too are shown to back the benefits, although the reports are based on economics it is still nice to see that scientists are looking into this and accepting/proving what we all know to be true. That Nature is a healing and a necessary part of our humanity, we must look after and protect her for all to enjoy.
Dining cubicles made of Glass looking like little greenhouses have emerged in Amsterdam to help people keep social distancing whilst dining out, they actually look quite aesthetic and may catch on especially for dining outside in cooler climes. They would function here too in the winter months but I guess they would be unpracticable during the hot months when we struggle to keep cool during the evenings.
Drive in concerts in Lithuania are making a come back, this may be the way forward for the time being enabling people to enjoy gatherings of concerts and maybe movies again. Although it involves cars most of these people would have driven anyway to attend a concert so the impact would be no worse.
Many like myself who can usually hold on to some light are struggling right now as many negative energies of anger, frustrations and this deep feeling of being trapped are growing stronger in those around us. Understanding of others is crucial at this time where each breaking point is individual, many are succumbing to the “poor me” syndrome saying that others have it easier and are still angry while their suffering is worse etc. Hold on the best you can as this too will pass, be aware and accept all the triggers around you but keep finding your centre.
Dream in your new future, one you wish to see for yourself and others and try to keep your heart open, as love is the only thing that can pull us through to where we want to be. As always I wish for you to stay safe and take precautions to protect yourself and loved ones including taking care of your mental health, we will rise again out of the ashes 💜