Days 89 and 90 have passed with a strange mixture of emotions, sadness, chaos, anticipation of I don’t know what and calmness all mixed together. The beaches filled up with locals contemplating on the huge influx of visitors to the area that we shall receive in the coming days and weeks. There will be a crazy amount of traffic after months of quiet roads and of course all the road works that have started since lockdown will add to the congestions throughout. During isolation people went through many mixed emotions, contemplating and assessing their lives and values, as we move into the new normal I for one feel it is moving too fast for my mind and emotions to keep up. It is only 2 weeks since the beaches re opened with restrictions, parks and children’s play areas only open tomorrow and it was only a week ago that most small bars and restaurants opened and dance floors are still not allowed anywhere. Smaller shops mainly started opening last week and the large commercial centres re open tomorrow, so after total isolation for 6 weeks, and a very slow return towards this new normal phase which will start next week its feeling hard to accept that we will start to see tourists flooding back. Of course walking around we feel safe in our masks knowing that locally we have very few infection cases only 5 new in the last week for our entire region. How will we feel next week when free movement is allowed knowing areas like Madrid are still reporting larger numbers and our borders open? Of course this is good news for the economy but the damage has already been done, 3 months lost income in a 6 month season of tourism will still leave many establishments struggling or closing.
We have seen people in countries like the UK gathering in groups for picnics etc throughout this world lock down and watching the spread of the virus continue to much higher levels, and now as a holiday destination those same people flouting advice will arrive here to flood our beaches and bars. We are well aware of the higher risks approaching, are we ready for all those drunken souls once again, are the police ready for the nightly disturbances and are the hospital staff ready to welcome the usual influx of drunk injuries and often abuse that comes with it after what they have just endured with the stress and demands placed on them these last months? I feel that tolerance levels will not be the same, these nurses and doctors are ready for a holiday! Many visitors may find our high fines for not complying to regulations excessive and may cause anger. We do hope those who choose to come here for a holiday understand that things are not the same, regulations must be adhered to and the usual tolerance will not be the same by authorities or by individuals who are literally just coming out of draconian measures and feel angry and frustrated themselves. With bars, beaches and swimming pools having limited capacity and community pools having to book appointments to attend, we may just struggle to cope with full capacity and maybe get through only in chaos. Emotionally it feels strange to suddenly just go back to normal within a week or so of being allowed some freedom, it may feel like “what was it all for” especially knowing we have visitors from higher infection areas, we are used too far less numbers this last month but still have been under tough restrictions!
Day 91 – Monday a new week ahead and more freedom to travel to other areas in Andalucia, we can now see friends 20 minutes away to the West in the province of Cadiz so many will be happy to see loved ones if they can manage time off now everything is open and they are back to work, it feels like another sigh of relief. Of course I think about my daughters visit soon but this may be better not to think about right now as it may change from day to day. In Wales travel restrictions to and from the country wont lift for another week and although our president announced our borders opening next week including to the UK, he does state clearly that it will depend on infection rates of a country and reciprocal agreements. Politically this is probably a good move to include the UK as news papers will report it, but as we know the UK is still enforcing 14 day quarantine and their infection rate is still high so in truth we will have to wait to see what actually happens on the 21st of June. So for now I will take it day to day and wait until the day she arrives to be excited.
With life changing events it is hard to fall back into the flow of life, we are changed by them and are not the same person we were before they happened. Going through these changes it often feels like chaos and this seems to be happening now as we are readjusting to the now. Chaos seems to have taken away most of this year and many people are asking what happened?
There seems to be no hold up in chaos and confusion, as demonstrations and riots happen world wide bringing up more anger and frustrations. It has been hard to assimilate seeing so many gathering together whilst weddings, funerals, shops and all other parts of society still have so many restrictions on numbers in attendance. At the moment I am steering clear as much as possible from social media as everybody has something to say on their opinion, I feel that everybody wants to be heard so all sides are posting many pictures and quotes to show that they are right. Racism is real on every level and has existed for goodness knows how long, as a white person I saw and still see it within some family, friends and neighbours. It was one of the prime reasons I moved abroad, I also felt that our British history was nothing to be proud of, I didn’t understand how conquering and gaining an empire through destruction could be seen as something to celebrate and be proud of. In bred discriminations and fear of the new has always existed within people passed down through generations and I feel it is at the root of many problems including racism. This lack of tolerance for others or anything different was even seen when foreign food started emerging in the UK, hard to imagine now with Indian, Italian, Chinese and many other international cuisines being a staple amongst the British. We still see remnants of this here in Spain as some British wont eat foreign food so British food restaurants were set up to cater for them.
Being a Northerner from a poor background who moved to the South held many problems too, we had to work harder and make huge efforts to prove our worth and be accepted. Simple things like joining mother and toddler groups locally left me not really accepted or included either by my northern status or by my living in a marina, which was classed as “for the wealthy” Living in a Marina amongst the wealthy with our accent and working class status, often left us feeling like a foreigner too and sometimes excluded. My vision is for a world where we stand back and understand all our own prejudices as it is so easy for the press to trigger and rile people up to take sides and cause more divisions. Understanding ourselves and our own prejudices, looking at why and how we came about them is what will help us into a kinder more accepting and inclusive world. If we stayed grounded in our centre, found our own truth and not just the stories that have been fed to us through headlines or passed down beliefs, we may just find that our history doesn’t determine our future. It is time to welcome and accept all of humanity as the one species that we are and enjoy our variety and diversity.
Day 92 /93 – Yesterday I enjoyed a lovely visit and catch up with my son with many conversations to keep my mind challenged, it is good to have philosophical conversations and discuss world events and principles with somebody close, sharing ideas and seeing different points of view. I do miss these conversations with my children since they left home as I love to see others perspectives on situations, my own ideals are always simple and I often don’t consider the logics of things. Yesterday our discussions were mainly around science and how important it is in moving into a better future and its pitfalls when we take it only as truth. This came about after seeing some stories such as the debate on cholesterol arising again, I wouldn’t like to guess how many times scientists have told us something is bad for us then its good for us then bad again. I would love to have faith in science but as we know it is constantly changing as new findings arise on any subject. Some reports are now saying that a high reading of good cholesterol is now not good either, so for the next few years I guess doctors will now enforce more people to take cholesterol tablets. This comes after many people I know are questioning doctors over this medication with so much information on the its negative side effects, at least it still says eating fatty fish or taking oils supplements is healthy.
This of course led us to many other topics of science with the conclusion that as information is an open source most things we hear about are just findings which may or may not go on to have more vigorous testing and trials often taking years, which is why we often see this see- saw of information. The problem arrives when we jump in too quickly with information that has not been totally proved and still under investigation, pharmaceuticals try to jump in sometimes with public demands as can be seen now with this virus, people want a cure now and they want a vaccine now. Fear arises whilst our generation still remembers the horrific consequences of drugs like Thalidomide which we were told was safe for pregnant women. After hours of conversation we did come to the conclusion that the press are the root cause of many problems in our world focusing on part information and sensationalising it, making it seem real to most. Many reports come from university students doing research which may then be taken on by specialist scientists in the field for more study and research. One misleading press statement is to say “scientific research or a group of scientists” we as the people envisage highly qualified experts who have done a lot or research rather than a student doing a small experiment or thesis who leave their findings available for more scientific research by anybody wanting to follow it up.
Today I took a walk but it is getting much hotter now, it is silly to struggle in the heat but I did however find a lovely tree to stand under, taking my shoes off to stand on the cool soil. This is why we need more trees in our towns, they give relief from the searing sun, tree hopping home was a pleasure and I took time to just stand there feeling the pleasant warmth and breeze flowing around, I could have spent hours there unlike struggling with 10 minutes on the streets with no shade. Please stay safe and take precautions to protect yourself and loved ones including taking care of your mental health, we have survived these last 6 months coming through a lot, never give up💜