The speed at which things have developed over the last few days is quite remarkable. Until Wednesday afternoon you wouldn’t have noticed any difference to daily life on the streets of Madrid. People were going about their business and enjoying the weather as if nothing were amiss. However within 48 hours much had changed. Madrileños’ initial responses to the closing of schools, universities, bars and restaurants were varied, with those choosing to brave the streets and continue with their lives as normal receiving heavy criticism from others already living under days of self-imposed isolation.
I spent (shamefully in hindsight) the morning lounging by the lake in Casa de Campo with a couple of friends, all of us forming part of a rapidly dwindling camp of the blissfully ignorant deniers. Police cars crawling around the park with megaphones pleading us to get inside was enough to wake us from our sunny slumber. I head home unaware that today will be the last time I walk freely. Any time I am lucky enough to stretch my legs for the foreseeable future will be running unnecessary errands (at speed in order to raise my heartrate as much as possible).