Journal of the Virus Year: Chapter 3

We are now in the fourth day since the lock down was announced by Pedro Sánchez on 14 March, the Estado de Alarma, similar to a “state of emergency” but a lower degree within the Constitución.

I had intended to shortly publish today’s blog post but I am going to reserve today’s piece – including some further reflections on Daniel Defoe’s “Journal” – and put that up later. Things are moving fast here in Spain.

I have been watching the live debate in the Parliament (Congreso de Diputados) in Madrid today. Deputies were sitting two or three metres apart, in a much reduced national parliament, and political parties have dropped all of their customary partisan rhetoric. This is now a changed political situation with all the characteristics of wartime solidarity.

The exception was the right wing Vox party which acted in a publicly embarrassing manner by calling for resignations of ministers. That tells the Spanish nation all it needs to know about populist opportunism which seeks its own ends, even in a time when the country is united behind the government and so many public workers are putting their lives on the line. (In response to that unhelpful Vox intervention, the Prime Minister simply expressed his hope for a full recovery for the Vox deputies who now had a positive diagnosis for the virus. Masterful.)

There will be a Cabinet meeting at 17.00 today in Madrid, chaired by King Felipe VI himself. Unlike UK the constitutional monarchy, he may at times take an active role in exceptional times for the nation. The King will then speak to the nation at 21.00 today, so I will reserve my blog post for after that address to the nation, as it will set the tone, as we brace ourselves for the worst. We all know the worst is yet to come. Nobody can predict how bad it will be.

This blog post is now paused until later today, after 22.00 Spanish time.

His Majesty King Felipe VI

Update 18 March 2020

I will be writing a new blog post later today about the situation here in locked down, Costa Blanca, Spain; but it is less urgent to describe the situation here (where we can do little to help) than to INSIST that people in the UK take proactive self-protection in the absence of any sensible consistent government action. (Why aren’t pubs shut? Why are schools even open till tomorrow! Why are NHS staff not even being tested? etc. etc.)

Above all, STAY AT HOME. I have been saying this to my own daughter in North Wales for several days. It is now appearing in community messages, in the absence of governement instruction to the citizens of UK. #STAYHOME #QuedateEnCasa Or die.

A wall in Brighton today.

6 thoughts on “Journal of the Virus Year: Chapter 3

  1. It is not possible to write more than the briefest note to complete the blog today, due to the constant failure of the Internet connection. With all of Spain confined to their homes and all using the internet at once, the signal strength has been such that I have spent half my day reconnecting and have done not much else! The bandwidth is completely overwhelmed.

    I have also been trying to contact my daughter in UK regarding the document I have drawn up for my solicitor – setting out my wishes for the future of the donkeys – if the worst might happen.

    After all I have said here on the blog and in individual communications to UK family and friends, desperately pleading that you all STAY AT HOME except for brief essential trips, it emerged at the end of the afternoon that my daughter had been “out shopping all afternoon”. I really think the UK is a lost cause! Thanks to poor broken political leadership and constantly wishy-washy changing messages, the people of UK JUST DO NOT GET IT…. Even when you spell it out in an hour’s desperate telephone plea to the one you love, she goes out shopping “all afternoon”.

    We have been in full in lock down for five days now, with the army on the streets to ensure people follow the rules. The front page of the local paper (online) seems always now to have photos of Guardia Civil in protective gear carrying body bags out of buildings .

    But in UK, it’s “Sorry I didn’t get back to you but I’ve been out shopping all afternoon…” STAY SAFE EVERYONE (if you’re listening…)


  2. Dear Mister Peasant,

    Rubí Donkey said in her Rubí Tuesday blog “How to Disinfect your Peasant” that I looked at her as if I should be writing the blogs, not her. Well, I have considered the matter and I would like to apply to be the second donkey correspondent on your blog. Initially I wondered if I could be the coronavirus fashion correspondent.

    Later I might have an eye on an opinion column, as I see myself as the next Marina Hyde. If you don’t know who she is, after your attempted Lent break from the media, she is the acerbic political/social/sports commentator on The Guardian. If John Crace thinks he can write irony, he isn’t a patch on Marina Hyde.

    I am available for interview or I can send in a sample fashion piece for the blog and we will take it from there. I’ve also been teaching Morris to write, so you may find him expressing an interest in doing a piece on “The Semiology of the Coronavirus in a Postmodern Landscape” or just something about how he gets irritated by squirrels.

    Yours sincerely,

    Aitana Donkey

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Can we cut the sexist crap please? Either assess my talents on the sample piece I’ll send you or don’t bother, but “clever little jennet donk” is not quite the level of conversation I was hoping for. And you’re late bringing our supper.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. No problem. I’m not swanning around like Rubí Donkey listening to Morris’s rubbish off the “Interweb”! I’ll write a proper blog post. And it’s the “Internet” anyway. (I interviewed Tim Berners Lee – inventor of the World Wide Web – as a practice piece when I was doing my online journalism course. I probably know more about the Internet that Boris Johnson’s IT teacher tart.

    Liked by 1 person

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