It was expected that the Coronavirus of Wuhan would arrive in Spain. It emerged at the end of 2019 in the Chinese city, and reached the European country at the beginning of 2020. Today, 16th of March, Spain is the second most affected country in Europe after Italy, with more than 8.000 confirmed cases and 300 deaths, most of them in Madrid, the capital.
Due to the situation, last Friday, the 13rd of March, the president of Spain Pedro Sánchez declared the State of Emergency in the whole country, which came into force a day later, on Saturday. This measure, similar to that were adopted by other European countries, it’s scheduled to last 15 days, but can be extended as the spread of the virus evolves. The goal is to limit the movement of citizens to the maximum, not to eliminate the virus or its contagion, because it’s impossible, but to prevent that contagion from occurring very quickly, among many people at the same time, and try to avoid the saturation of health services. However, this is already happening. Maybe, as many experts have criticized, Spain have reacted too late, even having examples as close as the case of Italy.
What does this emergency situation mean for Spanish people?
In the Emergency State, citizens can only leave their homes to buy food, medicine, or basic necessities, as well as to work, those who cannot do it from home. Bars, restaurants, shopping malls… All establishments less pharmacies or supermarkets, including parks, are closed, joining schools and universities, which had already been closed. In addition, the Government is thinking about closing the country’s borders in the coming days. Also, the Government can intervene private companies to dispose of all the products it deems necessary.
To ensure compliance with these measures, the State has deployed effectives from the UME (the Military Emergency Unit) through the streets of the main cities. It’s necessary because, at least during the days prior to the declaration of the State of Emergency, despite the recommendations to not leave home and avoid contact with others, many people continued to go out to bars and cafes and continued travelling between cities, which favored the spread of the virus throughout the country.
And how do the Spanish people with this quarantine situation?
Now, it seems that citizens have become aware and are staying at home, living a situation that, although new and difficult, is being more bearable thanks to numerous initiatives that have emerged on social networks. Below I detail some of those that have gone viral (never better said!):
- “#YoMeQuedoEnCasa Festival” (#IStayAtHome Festival): This is the first festival celebrated in Spain through Instagram. Last weekend, from Friday to Sunday, some 50 singers and groups form the current music scene in the country offered live concerts from their houses through the social network. The playlist of the festival is now available on the website: https://www.yomequedoencasafestival.com/.
- “Cuarentena Fest” (Quarantine Fest): Self-named as streaming music festival in difficult times. More independente, it’s starring artists from the national pop-rock-indie scene, who will offer their performances online from the 16th of March to the 27th. https://cuarentenafest.tumblr.com/
- “Festival Cuarentenarl”: Along the same lines, but focused on humor, this online event also emerged last weekend in the Canary Islands. I was promoted by the Canary humorist Aarón Gómez and counted with the participation of many other artists, such as Víctor Hubara, Kike Pérez, Omayra Cazorla or Fran Baraja, among others.
- “#PandemiaShortFilmFestival”: An online film festival organized by the youtuber El Chico Morera, in which short films of any year o nationality can be presented until the 24th of March, as long as their theme is apocalyptic and filmed in Spanish or, in its defect, dubbed or with subtitles in this language. Here is the Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMfod1jbu1w.
In addition to these and other artistic initiatives, such as virtual visits to museums you can find on Internet, those that focus on sport also stand out. There are many online yoga, meditation or physical training classes that can be found on Instagram or Facebook. Through live videos, which can then be viewed recorded, influencers and instructors share their daily practices in their profiles in a free way. Some examples of this:
- The Instagram profile of the Canarian coach Aitor Ojeda: https://www.instagram.com/thehealthdealer/?hl=es. These days he is offering live training sessions with his partner, Aida Artiles, who is a yoga instructor.
- The Instagram account of the “Mysore House Madrid”, an Ashtanga Yoga school in the Spanish capital: https://www.instagram.com/mysorehousemadrid/?hl=es. They offers guided practices and conferences on this style of yoga almost daily.
- The profile of the Yoga and Meditation School “Espacio Anamaya”, based in Tenerife (Canary Islands): https://www.instagram.com/espacio_anamaya/. She is also sharing online yoga and meditation sessions these days.
In addition to entertainment, the Spanish people have also dedicated these days to solidarity and gratitude. Thus, they have begun to go out on their balconies every night at 22:00 to applaud and thank all the health personnel who are working hard to care for all the sick people.
In short, although it is true that these types of initiatives will not end the Coronavirus, they will undoubtedly contribute to better survive this quarantine, not only from the physiciall point of view, but from the most important, the emotional one.