We are in day two of a complete lockdown, shelter in place, in Madrid which is the epicenter of COVID19 in Spain.
After dinner tonight we took a bowl of Jim’s black bean soup out to give to our local street person that we pass everyday. He seemed genuinely thankful and the soup was still warm. We then sneaked in a little walk going to a nearby Carrefour express. Our thinking was that if we walked around with a bag from a grocery store we would not be harassed by the authorities as much. Our closest very large grocery store, El Corte Inglés, is only a three minute walk away. El Corte Inglés, headquartered in Madrid, is the largest department store group in Europe and ranks third worldwide. We are very fortunate to have such a comprehensive very clean grocery store so close. They supply plastic gloves at the entrance and encourage everyone to use them. There have been no shortages of anything except eggs and ice. This morning they only had one half dozen carton of eggs and there were only five eggs in that one. The store has never been crowded and checkout lines are short with people queuing three meters apart. The cashier disinfects their area between each customer. Since we needed eggs we walked to Carrefour express and bought their last carton of eggs. On our circuitous walk home we were stopped by a person in an unmarked car who advised us that only one person was allowed to go out and shop. We then had to walk between four uniformed army personnel who were fanned out across the street. They did not stop us and we took no pictures. We took the 105 stairs home after logging about two sneaky miles. At 8pm the balcony clapping started. Madrilleños started this four nights ago following a campaign launched on social media to show appreciation to their healthcare workers.
In spite of the hardships to ourselves and all of the world, we applaud and support the strict measures that this wonderful country is taking to safeguard their citizens as much as possible. We watch the news from the rest of the world and marvel at the inconsistency of what is being implemented in our home country and many others. We would urge everyone to take this pandemic seriously and to take individual responsibility in doing all that you can to protect yourselves, your family and the rest of the world.