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To talk to you about life in Spain right now

(235 Posts)
Changednamesorry Sun 05-Apr-20 14:08:50

In case UK follows many other countries and tightens the rules, I made a post about what it's like here in Spain.

A few things worth buying. Vitamin D for kids in case you are not allowed to take them out from next week, especially if you have no outside space. Craft materials (these are now very scarce here as supermarkets have had to close that section if they had it to discourage browsing). Disney Plus for movie nights. Microwave popcorn!

I live in Spain. We have an apartment in the city centre and no outside space at all. I am separated from my son's father but we chose for him to move in just before the lockdown as we saw it coming in the news and wanted to ensure the kids were not separated from him for months on end. We get on very well, I appreciate this is not an option for everyone. We also have a flatmate who is a lovely 27 year old Portuguese guy. So we are 3 adults and 2 kids in 115 square metres of space..... And that's better than some of our friends who live in 60 or 70 square metre apartments. Spanish children have not been outside for 3 weeks. My sons are 9 and 3 and normally active boys doing lots of sports and we are normally out of the house every day between 8am and 8:30pm. That has all changed. Schools are fully closed and have been since 13th March, no exceptions.

1. How are people coping with kids?
Varying levels of coping, of course. Here with the little one I bake, do drawing, dance, play football inside etc. For the older one I made little bags. One has basketball drills (his favorite sport) which he does 2 a day. One has exercise sets (I will post an example), one has different amounts of screen time and one has activities linked to school (maths, history, Spanish, English, science projects, baking etc). He chooses 3 of those.

2. Grocery shopping.
My ex goes to the shops once every 6 days. That's it. You are asked to carry a paper justifying your journey. You can not go to whatever shop you choose. You must go to the closest one to home. If you are caught turning this into a walk you will be stopped and fined between 600 and 30000 euros. If the police decide you are covering up a walk with a "shopping trip".... Fined. Someone I know was fined 200 euros for only buying a can of coke and a chocolate. We have not seen scenes of panic buying or bulk buying here, possibly because in cities most do not have a car so you take a granny trolley and a couple of bags for life so no space for millones of toilet paper etc. This may be different in rural areas but there haven't been many reports of it (I haven't seen any, in fact). People wear a mask and gloves and supermarkets make you queue outside 2 meters apart and don't let many people in at a time. Most supermarkets also provide gloves and require you to wear them.

3. What can you leave the house for?
Essential food shopping, pharmacy, medical appointments, essential workers, walk your dog (but only so he can go to the toilet... No big long walks) Only allowed to leave the house individually unless you are accompanying someone who is unable to go alone.

4.Can you use your garden or roof terrace?
If it is for private use, yes. If it is for communal use (shared garden or roof terrace with other flats), no. You'll get fined as if you were outside.

5. Clapping?
Yes. Every night for keyworkers at 8pm. Most people join in. Slight difference with UK is its unusual for kids to be in bed before 9pm here.
Occasionally will be extra one for kids at 6pm.

6. Doctors appointments
All non urgent appointments canceled. Telephone appointments with emailed prescriptions available and I had one within an hour of asking.

Please stay safe. It's difficult, but it's not forever and it will be less time the more people abide by the rules. Feel free to ask any questions and I will try to answer. It's tough, but we are coping. So will you if the UK tightens the rules for a while.

EustaciaPieface Sun 05-Apr-20 14:12:10

Thanks OP, sounds tough but positive noises coming from Spanish news etc. Hopefully you’re about to come out the other side. Thanks for the insight xxx

NoMorePoliticsPlease Sun 05-Apr-20 14:12:12

Thank you. A dose of reality for some of the idiots here. We have tried the soft approach, they wouldnt do it. The tough will follow

ofwarren Sun 05-Apr-20 14:14:56

What happens to those who can't go to the shops?
We are in the shield group here meaning we aren't allowed to leave at all for 12 weeks.

Ethelfleda Sun 05-Apr-20 14:15:29

Thank you OP.

Devlesko Sun 05-Apr-20 14:19:51

Thank you very much for this, I can't imagine how hard it is for people without gardens.

I have a question.
What is the rationale about not being able to use a shared roof terrace?
Obviously, you can't mix households but why not use a sort of rota system.

CuriousaboutSamphire Sun 05-Apr-20 14:21:25

ofwarren there are groups set up to deliver. The mayor of the mountain village my parents lives I until last October is arranging all sorts of support for families who need it.

It's probably easier for them, they are an incredibly close knit community. The local baker is still baking, the mobile shops are still delivering, some pre paid, some running up a tab (they don't have any other sort for miles). It was all sorted out within days.

Ponoka7 Sun 05-Apr-20 14:24:29

What is the proposals for the holiday season?

Because as soon as we come out of lock down, we are back to square one. So it will have been done to protect who?

If we get to that point, I'd join in with the protests. Our government allowed us to get to this point, hoping for a bit of a cull. Now it's backfired tjey want us to make sacrifices, for a country (aka the elite) that hasn't give a shit about the North spanning two elections.

Are you going to ban those from countries that are high risk or who haven't had lock downs?

What's your mental health provision like? What are you doing with people who don't comply and are mentally ill? What about your homeless?

Chochito Sun 05-Apr-20 14:25:50

ofwarren There are many community groups who will pick up shopping for people who can't go to the shops, but also people's neighbours. In our building, we have put up signs in the lobby with our numbers etc. for people who might need help and I talk to my elderly neighbour through her door to check she's OK.

I went to the supermarket when lockdown began and there were 2 police outside asking people what they were there for and sending away anyone who sounded a bit tenuous.

My back really, really hurts from not being able to run (I run every day and go to the gym) or even walk, but at least I have a big window that lets in natural light. The applause for the healthcare workers at 8pm is a highlight of my day. It is all worth it and we can put up with it for the sake of everyone's health.

amijustparanoidorjuststoned Sun 05-Apr-20 14:27:20

Hi OP, thank you for sharing your experiences. I note the situation appears to be changing slightly over there - so this gives me a little bit of hope!

May I ask, was there a "soft" approach to lockdown like the UK is currently taking right now, before the full on lockdown was imposed as you have described above? Sending you all the love in the world!

Chochito Sun 05-Apr-20 14:27:26

Devlesko Most city dwellers in Spain don't have gardens.

And any kind of communal gardens etc. / roof gardens are not to be used. Our parks were all closed off weeks ago, benches, swings, etc.

wrongsideofhistorymyarse Sun 05-Apr-20 14:27:54

My mother is in Spain waiting for an operation to cure her cancer.

She had a hospital appointment last week 50 miles away. She can't drive . She was in the back of the car with stepfather driving, both wearing masks. They were stopped three times during the journey. She carried a doctor's letter.

Chochito Sun 05-Apr-20 14:29:43

amijustparanoidorjuststoned Not really. The schools, universities and nurseries closed on 10th March where I live and by 13th March across the whole country. Things like sports centre and cultural centres (e.g where kids have music lessons, etc.) had already closed. Schools closing led to a fairly effective self-confinement, because parents stayed at home, therefore public transport was much less used. From 13th March we have all been in official confinement, (we're not on lockdown), there wasn't really much lead-in.

Changednamesorry Sun 05-Apr-20 14:31:45

Depending on the reason, different answers. Most supermarkets eliveries are now only offering delivery slots to people in vulnerable categories. Social services help with a "justificante" for those who do not have the equivalent of a blue badge pension book etc.

Elderly people with relatives close by - relatives do it for them and leave it at the front door.

Elderly people without relatives close by - either neighbors or worst case scenario, social services cover this

Single mothers may take their children to the shops if absolutely needed but must have their single parent card on their person Most single parents I know have either moved in with another single parent before lockdown and only one shops and the other stays with kids.. Same role every time or an adult friend moved in to help ot other mums and dads from school shop for them on a rota system. State has provided precharged visa cards for those who have help with school dinners with the cash equivalent. These are topped up every 15 days.

SecretsInSpitalfield Sun 05-Apr-20 14:32:57

Op- thanks for your insightful post.

I’ve been wondering regarding Spain and the lockdown

Do citizens get benefits/ universal credits type help ?

Do you get mortgage and rent holidays?

I know that unemployment is huge in Spain and I can’t imagine how people are coping?...

Changednamesorry Sun 05-Apr-20 14:33:52

Not sure but I imagine it is because the rota system may be difficult to police.

Ponoka7 Sun 05-Apr-20 14:43:28

What is happening to people who are addicts?

Are you mobilising the Army to areas were social problems are high to help the Police?
Are your prisons filling up?

Ponoka7 Sun 05-Apr-20 14:44:41

What's happening to DV/the murder of women rate?

You've given a very fluffy view of your situation.

Changednamesorry Sun 05-Apr-20 14:46:07

@Ponoka7Homeless people in my city..... Conference centres and hotels have come under state control to provide housing for them during the state of alarm. They are staffed with mental health professionals and social workers and also many many volunteers have been trained and are helping

LilacTree1 Sun 05-Apr-20 14:47:03

Do you know any info on DV rates, suicide rates?

No sign of riots?

AgentCooper Sun 05-Apr-20 14:47:24

flowers for you OP. That sounds really tough. I can’t imagine having to stay inside any of the flats I stayed in in Spain when it was beautiful and warm outside. I think in the U.K. we don’t understand how hard it must be, especially as so many folk in cities on the continent have zero outside space. It sounds like you’re doing a great job for your wee ones.

Seventyone72seventy3 Sun 05-Apr-20 14:47:33

Thanks OP. I am in Italy so it's similar but we are using the communal garden a bit (not actually a garden tbf but a bit of concrete in front of the garages). If anybody is down there when we go out,we come back later. Most of our neighbours are elderly so don't go out at all - doesn't stop one from shouting at us, that we are not allowed to play there! (Not a CV rule - she just hates kids! Some things never change!)

Other difference - we have been indoors for five weeks now and the whole exercise/homeschooling/crafting thing as gone to pot!! Nobody is clapping/singing from balconies anymore. Everyone is fed up.

amijustparanoidorjuststoned Sun 05-Apr-20 14:49:12

@Ponoka7 um, no she hasn't posted a "fluffy" view of the situation hmm

The OP surely can't know everything about every situation. Try to put on your positive hat and stop looking for all the negative notes.

DonPablo Sun 05-Apr-20 14:50:03

Ponoka, I don't think that's fair. It's not a fluffy view, it's her view, from her life.

I'd be interested to know the answers to your questions though.

Sparklingbrook Sun 05-Apr-20 14:50:48

This is an interesting insight on what real lockdown means. I don't think it's fluffy, it's from the OP's experience.

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