We have finally come to our senses and decided to comply with the strict lockdown rules in Spain. We have realized that if they allow ANYONE to walk the streets or go for a run then everyone will be out on the streets and social distancing will not be possible. They are also dictating that only one family member go to the grocery store so Jim went alone yesterday.
As we all know it has been a tumultuous week. We have been back and forth on whether to return home or remain in lockdown in Spain. Our thought processes have gone something like this. Spain is well ahead of the US in dealing with this pandemic and will be coming out of it at least a month earlier. We feel very safe here and we have a wonderful grocery store very nearby, three minute walk, which is very well stocked, uncrowded and extremely clean. Yesterday they met Jim at the door with hand sanitizer and gloves. The shopping carts and checkout areas are sanitized between customers. There is a 24 hour pharmacy less than 50 meters from our front door. We have outdoor space, good views and plenty of stuff to keep us busy. There are 100 stairs to our unit which we have been running up 2-3 times every morning. If we return to Boston we will need to rent another Airbnb and we will then need to deal with Boston grocery stores which as we understand it are crowded and very poorly stocked. We will also need to stay in lockdown much longer as the US is so far behind Spain in dealing with this virus. In spite of all the positive reasons for staying here, there would be something comforting about being in our home country and only steps from MGH, Man’s Greatest Hospital. The big unknown for us is ??????? will there be any flights between Europe and the US tomorrow, next week or two months from now if we had to come home for some reason. We are not so worried about getting COVID19 as we probably both had it already while in Seville. Jim had fever followed by two weeks of severe coughing and Sandy had the cough without fever. We are more worried about family emergencies or other illnesses or injuries in ourselves which would dictate that we return home immediately. It has been quite a dilemma and we have gone back and forth a lot. This morning we awoke to a new State Department warning “In countries where commercial departure options remain available, US citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.” That dire warning made up our minds and by 10:30 Sandy has us almost packed up. We have not confirmed our flight home yet as we went through a third party booking agency in the US and they are not awake yet to rebook us for tomorrow. Iberia does still show their Madrid Boston flight as being available and bookable for tomorrow so here’s hoping that we will be on that flight arriving home to Boston at 15:35 tomorrow. We have tentatively booked a very nice Airbnb on Charles Street right above the post office.
If we do make it home tomorrow we are not anticipating seeing any friends or family until this pandemic is under control. We are urging everyone to take this situation quite seriously and avoid any unnecessary contact. If we were not in Spain we would not realize the severity of the situation. We strongly feel the the whole US should adopt the same strict policy as Spain. Everybody needs to be in an enforceable lockdown.