Today I decided to temporarily move my life from my shoebox flat in Lavapies to my best friend Flo’s slightly ‘plusher’ digs in the trendy, gay neighbourhood of Chueca. Luckily she not only has a spare bedroom, which means I won’t have to spend the quarantine alone (almost unimaginably miserable?), she also has a terrace with outdoor sofas. As the spring is set to stay and possibly even turn into summer during our confinement, this is an absolute game changer.
Despite the sunshine and blue skies, it seems that today everyone here has woken up with a different attitude. Galvanised by Pedro Sanchez’s empowering address to the nation yesterday evening in which he stressed the urgent need for cooperation and collective sacrifice, people seem to have finally accepted the need for a life led solely from their front rooms for the time being. Only a couple of brave souls clad in masks and gloves, looked upon by bored faces peering down from their balconies, can be seen scuttling to nearby supermarkets in otherwise deserted streets.
At the end of last night’s live address, the population of Madrid, who despite having just had almost all our personal freedoms completely withdrawn before our eyes, took to our balconies in an emotional show of solidarity; clapping, whistling and shouting “viva España” as a way of thanking those tasked with keeping the city running while the rest of us hide away. The roar rippled throughout the city and echoes of the encouraging moment could be heard well into the evening. A truly moving display of unity that will not be forgotten by any of us for a long time to come.