A week ago, when my daughter was freely playing in an old square packed with children and people enjoying the late afternoon sun, she bumped into her BFF since she is 1 and they hugged and shouted as if they hadn’t seen each other for years even though they see each other everyday at pre-school.Toddler love is always joyous to watch .

The mother of my daughter’s friend made a light remark about the possibility of schools closing because of the Coronavirus, by then, there were a significant amount of people infected but mainly in Madrid so even though schools in Madrid were closed, I just didn’t think the virus would spread to other Spanish regions and let alone, a small city known for being car and pollution free. In Pontevedra there were no reported Coronavirus cases. I remember thinking that perhaps the government should have closed Madrid as that is where 80% of cases were .In fact, the few cases reported in the region of Galicia by then were of people who had been to Madrid or people from Madrid who had traveled to Galicia.

No walks on the beach, its not a holiday.

Then, on Thursday 12th March we were told nurseries, schools , high schools and universities would shut down from Monday 16th for two weeks. We were also advised not to take our kids to school that Friday unless strictly necessary. Things rapidly changed from then on.

The number of people infected with Coronavirus was rapidly growing and not only in Madrid but also in the regions of Cataluña, Pais Vasco and Rioja. The death toll was also rapidly increasing but still mainly in Madrid. Finally, on Saturday 14th nothing expect supermarkets, pharmacies, or local food shops were allowed to open. I left the house that Saturday afternoon to do some food shopping and the city felt like a ghost town. Literally, it was just my daughter and I .

By Sunday 15th, the government decided to restrict citizens movements. We were officially on lockdown and no-one could leave the house from that point on unless strictly necessary. As it happens, some people were not respecting the requested quarantine and many were seen carrying on as normal. It was then that the government gave power to the police to fine people disobeying the official lockdown. Basically there is only one place to be since then: Your house. I have been following closely what has been happening in Italy and my heart breaks for Italy and the Italians, they too , thought this would not happen to them just a few weeks ago.

The army disinfecting the Santa Justa train station in Santa Justa

The situation is looking rather serious and I’m worried, particularly for the elderly and those with a weak inmune system .Today, on my way to the supermarket after not leaving the house for days ,I saw the army in the streets, I saw police and I saw people being questioned about their whereabouts. In one supermarket I was not allowed in with my child so had to try another one who gave me limited time inside and strict guidelines such as keeping a distance of at least 1 metre from other customers.

Spain does have an excellent health care system but again this pandemic is so unusual and we are all so unprepared that we just don’t know what will happen so it is best to take precautions to avoid a collapse of the healthcare system. That starts with staying in, avoiding contact with others and not going out unless you really really need to.Complaining about not being able to go out now is plain egotistical . Healthcare professionals such as speciality doctors, nurses, paramedics, and general practitioners are risking their lives on a daily basis, and so are supermarket cashiers, food and delivery workers, and those who transport goods. They probably wish they could stay at home too but have no choice but to leave the house everyday to go to work to keep us all functioning.

Your health and that of others matters more than money or anything else at this time, stay in . Remember that it is you, the one who must take responsibility, not the government. You and only you can take care of yourself right now.