Well, we’re ten days into lockdown and today has been quite an exciting day.
First, the M&S clothes parcel I’d ordered for my birthday finally arrived. The delivery man asked me to come downstairs to collect it – he’d put it on top of the mailboxes and was standing by the door, so I had to shout my passport number at him, which was interesting. But I was happy to receive the parcel and the clothes are great, so it was fine.
It was the first time I’d gone downstairs in a week, so I took advantage of the opportunity to check whether there was any other mail and there was: a notification that Correos had tried to deliver another parcel for me (which I assume is my birthday present from my sister – thanks Su!) and a very exciting envelope containing my new Spanish driving licence.
I took all this back upstairs and then embarked on my second journey downstairs of the week – and this time I went all the way outside into the street.
I didn’t feel quite so anxious at being outdoors as I did last week. I’m not entirely sure why. There were definitely more people around but that should probably be a reason to be more worried, not less.
There was no queue to get into the supermarket, thank goodness (although perhaps there should have been as it definitely seemed more crowded than I’d anticipated). They had run out of gloves at the front door, so I just had to gel my hands and then whizz through to the fruit and veg section to grab some gloves before I got collared by an over-zealous member of staff. I already felt somewhat slack as pretty much the only person in the whole shop not to be wearing a mask, so not to be wearing gloves either was intolerable. Fortunately, there were plenty in the fruit and veg department – after all, everyone else was already wearing them by the time they got there!
The shelves were noticeably better stocked this time, although there was still a shortage of hummus (it was the avocado variety or nothing). I didn’t panic buy but I did try to buy enough for the week ahead – which is not the way we usually do things here in Spain – so I was presented with a pretty hefty 50 euro bill at the end. Mind you, that did include the bottle of gin I thought I might be needing to get me through the next few days of online classes – or rather, to help me recover from them!
My only classes today were with teenagers. To be honest, I think the online classes I’ve delivered to teenagers so far have gone even better than the face-to-face ones usually do. I love using Zoom. It’s really easy to use, and it has all the functionality I need, including screen sharing (so they can still play Kahoot!) and an interactive whiteboard. The students generally seem to listen much better than they do in the classroom, and if they won’t stop talking, I have the option to mute them. If only we could do that in real life!
For the young learners yesterday, it was more challenging. Parents, please be aware that if your child is having an online class, everyone else in that class can hear the conversation you’re carrying on behind them. And as for you having a conversation with the child… well, please, just don’t.
Anyway, the other exciting news from today – I know, more! – is that I have finished re-writing a piece for the writing group blog, and I’ve also finished the first draft of a new short story. Yes, I have been busy! Unfortunately, my Catalan and Norwegian practice on Duolingo has had to take a back seat. I’ve only gained 309 points so far this week and someone else has racked up 6300, so I don’t think I’ll be winning the Diamond League this time round! But still…
I know that most of the people who read this are in the UK and so are just embarking on a lockdown of your own – although with exercise being allowed I’m not sure it really counts as a lockdown. But it probably still feels quite strange, and you’re probably also wondering how on earth you’re going to fill your days. Don’t. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be just as busy as always, if not more so. I ordered a jigsaw puzzle nine days ago, thinking I’d need something to keep me busy. It still hasn’t arrived and even if it had, I honestly don’t think I’d have found any time to do it.
My life – work, social and otherwise – is now pretty much entirely online. I don’t know what I’d do if my computer broke. I pray I don’t have to find out.
And finally a plea. Please, please, please do take this seriously. I know the numbers don’t look that huge for the UK yet, but you’re only about a week behind us on the curve and things haven’t slowed down here yet, despite the more radical lockdown measures that have been taken here. Although there have been reports of some people being fined for walking toy dogs, dressing up as dinosaurs and attending open-air parties, most people have been sticking to the rules. I’m far from the only person who hasn’t been out and about in a week.
Sure, there’s only so much we can do. My flatmate could bring the virus back home tomorrow and I would know nothing about it until it was too late. But if we all do our bit, we can beat this thing.
If you won’t do it for yourself, please do it for those around you, for those you love. And do it now, before it’s too late.