A rare day of rain in Madrid restricts us to the sofa and we plough through film after film, with breaks only to top up our glasses with red wine. Such a day of lazy fun allows us to completely forget our surroundings and situation. We are reminded of them however when we hear the sounds of the 8pm daily clap – a moment that still gives me goose-bumps. Some flats on the street are encouraging others to party by playing music from balconies but the fresh, cold air bites after having been on the sofa all day so we retreat inside to do some cooking.
When I talk to my family and friends back in UK, not only do I feel like I am speaking from another country but also the future, as we are about 10 days ahead in terms of the statistics. Boris Johnson is electing to take less drastic measures than most other European countries by not forcing a full lockdown. Some are hailing his brave tactics (Darwinist?) and attempts to create ‘herd-immunity’ however his critics are predicting a much higher rate of mortality than in Spain or Italy for example. By biding his time and choosing to protect the economy for as long as possible, he raises a good point – how long can a government support a country that has come to a standstill? Anyone who hasn’t already been put out of work is worried for their jobs and it is only the very beginning. Large scale unemployment and a collapsing economy could wreak havoc for years and bring dangers of its own. A line which keeps being thrown around is how comparable this situation is to a film and it is true. While ideas of rioting still seem far-fetched, everyone would be lying if they said this nightmare situation hadn’t momentarily crossed their minds. There are of course many stages to go through before reaching this but as the saying goes; “we are only three meals away from total anarchy…”