On the square Malasana, in the centre of the city, the people of Madrid have reinvested the terraces and back to their happy habits. Sandra, quarantine, is on the verge of share some tapas with two friends : “We have found our social life, sharing a glass with friends, family. From Madrid to the southern tip of the country, where the climate allows it, we live in the street, it is essential. “
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This need to descend into the street remains so vital here that, for Sandra, the great change is not so much the end of the alarm condition since last Sunday, and the possibility to move around freely in Spain, that “walk in the street and sit at a terrace “. The new freedom of movement will not change large-thing to this young woman. “I will wait for you even to go see my grandma in Navarre, I’m afraid of the contamination “it is feared she.
A mixture of relief and caution
The word is finally dropped. Behind the return to life of the people of Madrid, behind the ” Qué tal ? “(how’s it going ?) daily, hides not a burst of liberating joy, but a subtle mixture of relief mingled with a great deal of caution.
Maria del Polar, 76 years old, is pacing up and down the chic streets of the neighborhood of Salamanca with a friend. This year, there was no question of moving to Madrid for the holidays : “I understand that for many people, confinement was tough because the apartments are small, but now, you really need to be careful, especially as the government harps on all the time that in September we start again with this virus. “
Just look around Maria del Polar to understand what it’s like “the new normal “an expression a little barbaric for the government to explain life after the Covid-19, and that sometimes causes a smile mocking or grimace in Spanish.
Wearing a mask mandatory
The new normal since the end of the” state of alarm ” on Sunday, it is first to wear a mask almost all the time. “It’s like the keys or the glasses, it must never be forgotten “slips Maria del Polar in a smile that we guess behind his mask FFP2.
Mandatory in all enclosed areas and in the open air when the distance of 1.50 meter can not be respected, the mask is entered in the habits, of as much as a omission can result in a fine of £ 100.
Browse the streets of the capital filled with people masked reminds us constantly that the virus lurks, as the hydroalcoholic gel at the entrance and at the exit of all the shops, some even take the temperature of clients. Suffice to say that it is difficult to escape an atmosphere that is oppressive.
A country still in the health alert
Paloma, able to travel, trying to escape into Andalusia, at the beach, “to disconnect a little bit “. Feeling more tranquil, finding that “we can finally do things “it is said that “better move now, before the fall, where it may be more complicated “. “But now I see that this is not an explosion of joy, my circle remains cautious, my friends are not in a hurry to go for a drink on the terrace “, she says.
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The people of Madrid are going to have to live for months even under this bell Covid-19, because the region will not allow that 75 % of occupation in the places of commercial and cultural until the health alert is lifted, i.e. until a cure is found.
Caution and respect, so, in the face of the pandemic : we can better understand the Spanish when we look at the excess mortality between march and may compared to the same period in 2019, up from 56% in the country, and 161 % in the Madrid region. The epidemic here looks like the sword of Damocles.