Coronavirus in Spain: tiredness and understanding in Barcelona and Madrid before the night curfew

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Few people walk through the streets of the second Spanish city. Most shops are closed on Sunday. In the capital of the country the picture is similar.

It’s not dark yet and in Barcelona the night curfew is beginning to breathe decreed in Spain, a measure received with understanding and fatigue by some citizens subjected to numerous restrictions due to the pandemic.

Few people walk through the streets of the second Spanish city. Most shops are closed on Sunday and bars and restaurants have been closed for more than a week by a decree of the Catalan regional government.

“I have gone out for a walk and you are almost scared of how few people there are“José Benítez is surprised, a 76-year-old retiree who crosses a wide avenue in the Catalan city alone, protected from the virus with a blue hygienic mask and from the incipient autumn cold by a beige raincoat.

The curfew does not surprise him, nor does it worry him: “At that time I am always at home.” But He is scared by the strong increase in cases in the country: “It starts to worry me because if it catches me, at my age I won’t get over it.”

Strolling down a nearby street, which leads to the popular basilica of the Sagrada Familia, a young couple is exhausted. They claim to have limited their movements and narrow your social circle, but they say they are fatigued by the situation.

“I think the social aspect of human beings is not being taken into account. Everything related to leisure is restricted, But then we can go to work in crowded subway cars“explains Julia Valera, a 25-year-old biologist.

During the house confinement decreed in Spain between March and June, during the first wave of the pandemic, she and her partner Albert Carles they were separated.

“It was very hard, he had moments of great anxiety and anguish. I have even begun to treat it,” says he, a 26-year-old industrial engineer.

The loneliness of the streets of Barcelona disappears in the landscaped squares that surround the Sagrada Familia temple. With no bars or shops, the parks are the favorite option for locals to spend a Sunday afternoon, in some cases without respecting the distances nor the obligation to wear a mask.

Next to a small lake where the towers of the basilica designed by the architect Antoni Gaudí are reflected, Bea Alós picks up her two children to go home. For this 42-year-old teacher, who does wear a mask, the curfew “is a radical measure, but it is understood in this context of pandemic“.

“At least, I hope it helps to avoid home confinement, which is difficult with children. But with this uncertain and changing situation, sometimes you think if not it would be better to lock us up for two or three weeks to at least solve it once “, assures this woman.

In Madrid, They have been in a state of alarm for two weeks, previously applied in the capital and eight neighboring municipalities to decree a perimeter closure to its citizens.

The lifting of this measure this Saturday overlaps with the state of alarm decreed at the Spanish level by the central government to impose a curfew from 23 to 6 that the governments of several autonomous regions of the country had been requesting given the strong increase in cases.

This week, Spain became the first country in the European Union to exceed one million diagnosed cases of covid-19, while the fatal toll it is close to 35,000 victims.

“I can understand it, but it depends on how strong the measures are, it can be a bit too much, especially on an economic level,” says 23-year-old Adán Skaly, a young businessman.

“For me tIt would have to be a curfew at 9 at night“says Carolina Beltrán, a 36-year-old receptionist.


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