Diary of Spain in Lockdown - Virtual schooling continues

Tuesday 24th March.

Second day of virtual schooling and we’re starting to understand it a little more about what this involves. A lot more self-discipline and motivation is needed than for normal school, both by students and teachers, and even Sofía, who never complains about studying, says it's difficult. Laura, who has trouble staying focused at the best of times, had to be guided back to studying several times. Poor little María was starting to get stressed she wouldn’t finish the day’s work in time and little Helena couldn’t sit still all day, but with us all busy with our numerous tasks, she is being rather neglected.

After nearly two weeks of quarantine today is the first day we’ve heard of anyone we know having the illness and it was the grandmother of a work colleague of Juan’s. It’s a truly tragic story; the colleague’s grandmother had been at home, poorly, but hadn’t been taken to hospital until she had trouble breathing. At this point the family called an ambulance, which arrived at two in morning, without warning and took the old lady away. This was the last the family saw of her. She died a few days later, alone, in hospital without seeing any of her family again.

I remember reading stories like this from Wuhan back in January, and thinking ‘Well, that’s China, that won’t happen here.” Just two months later and it is here, on our doorstep.

As everywhere the news is full of stories of medical staff lacking proper PPE (personal protection equipment) and there has been a huge outcry today over comments made by the Valencian health minister. She accused medical staff of becoming infected because they had been travelling and visiting families. She said this is why the percentage of infected medical staff is higher, around 14%, than among the rest of the population. The truth of the matter is more likely that they have become infected due to being on the front line with inadequate protection. I joined tens of thousands of others and signed a petition demanding her to be sacked.

The Olympics have finally been postponed until next year, as most people had anticipated.

On a more upbeat note, today we received videos of people in Valencia singing Viva España, which, although I’m not Spanish, raised my spirits somewhat. I suppose it would be like being in the UK and hearing people belt out Jerusalem or Rule Britannia.

 

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