This weekend was the first time people in Spain were allowed out to walk around. It was a joyful sight to see others when I walked our dog Tess along the nearby canal on Saturday morning. Some couples were strolling along, other people were running and still others flew by on bikes. It almost felt normal. I even saw nine baby ducks swimming past with their mother. It made me smile. People took care to stand apart from others when stopping to talk, too, while some people wore masks.
As of today, 247,112 people in Spain have contracted covid-19, while 25,264 have died. Italy has more deaths, 28,884, but less total cases, 210,717. The United Kingdom has surpassed Spain in total covid deaths with 28,226 people dead as of today. But the US, the country that used to be the envy of the world, now has the most cases of any nation. It has 1,188,826 cases and 68,606 deaths as of today. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries.
President Trump is leaving it up to the states to handle the pandemic themselves. But when he does let the US government help a state out by delivering some ventilators, for example, he whines to the media if that governor doesn’t express sufficient appreciation to him. Thanks to Trump and his enablers, the United States has become a third-world country in many respects.
Despite the highest numbers of cases in the world, some states, like Texas and Georgia, are open again for business! Their covid-19 cases have since shot up dramatically. Almost every day, at least 25,000 new coronavirus cases are identified, meaning the US total is expanding by 2 to 4 percent daily. New estimates project daily deaths of Americans could soon reach 3,000.
I was on twitter the other day and someone I followed asked people to describe the United States now in one word. Here are some of the responses he received: corrupt, broken, cesspool, terrifying, uneducated, arrogant, embarrassing. incarerated, horrible, plutocracy and dystopian. If you don’t believe me, check out the tweet and the responses it generated.
Here is Spain, they are taking the virus seriously throughout the country. Here is some of what is happening during the four-part de-escalation phase. First of all, restrictions on the arrival of international tourists to Spain will last until October. The Government is working on a plan that envisions a summer without foreign tourism, with the borders closed. In other words, during the summer, no one livng in Spain will be able to leave the national territory, unless they have a specific health certificate. That’s serious. No trips to other parts of Europe or back to the US. We aren’t even supposed to leave our own province of Spain until the third week of June.
Since mid March, we haven’t been able to eat out. However, starting this week, you can get carry out from the restaurants in your area that are open. So that’s an improvement. Since mid March, you were discouraged from leaving the house at all except to go grocery shopping, dog walking or to the pharmacy.
Starting next Monday, May 11, up to 10 people can get together in their homes or terraces. So that will be great to socialize a bit with friends. Also, on that date, if all goes as planned, terraces on public streets and within the property of hotels will be allowed to open up to a 50% capacity, as long as the customers are outside. So that’s a hopeful sign of improvement. Since the weather is good here most of the year, sitting outside on a terrace would be where most people would want to be anyway.
So despite all the deaths, economic suffering and social deprivations, things are starting to look up here in Spain. Let’s hope that the same can be said for the rest of the world one day soon.