Isolation Diary: Day Twenty-Five in Spain Lockdown

Tuesday 14th April 2020

Rio kissing me in lockdown Spain

Despite it being one month since the state of alarm was first announced, I’m feeling quite positive. There have been a couple of times when it has hit me, but on the whole, we’re both doing pretty good.

Sticking to a routine has helped no ends. Having that structure to a day has definitely made such a positive impact on the way lockdown has gone. I know from watching the news that Spain is one of the tightest lockdowns across the world. There’s no outdoor exercise here at all. If you’re not walking your dog, going once a week to the supermarket or heading to the pharmacy then you’re not going out at all. Unless, of course, you’re a key worker. But despite that, I still think it’s the best lockdown to fight the virus.

It does make me worry about those in abusive households who won’t be able to escape, or children who are not allowed to go out at all. It makes me worry for those with mental illness who struggle anyway and then to have no outdoor activity does take its toll. But, on the virus front, it does seem to be flattening the curve. I’d be interested to see some data about how many lives have been through lockdown effects though, especially in the long run of new diagnosis’s of depression, mental illness or even weight related due to not being able to exercise. It would be interesting to compare that to the coronavirus stats.

The worried feeling from the day before subsided but made way for a twinge of nervousness. Not a great amount, but enough to know it’s there. I was due on the radio just after 4pm Spain time so I focused most of the day around that. I’d set an alarm for 3:50 just in case I got too engrossed in a book, or was playing on my iPad and completely missed the call. Imagine that?

I’d posted a photo on Facebook to let people know I was on air after 4 and the amount of people that messaged to say they would be listening in was such a nice feeling. I had lots of comments and private messages sending support and letting me know they’d be there. I felt very grateful, and nervous, before I went on.

I’d done my yoga and ab workout first thing in the morning. Just after sunrise. I’d typed up my blog and had a cup of tea. I wanted to get my essentials out of the way so that the rest of the day was cleared up and open. I had no idea how long the talk was going to be and I didn’t want a repeat of doing my exercise at 11pm half asleep. It seems I never learn, one day I’ll do it early to get it out the way and the next day it’s nearing 11pm and I’ve still not done it cursing myself for not having done so yet. The cycle continues.

NB: side note! I am going to do yoga straight after writing this so it’s out of the way and break this cycle ha!

Playing just dance during lockdown for free

We played Just Dance for an hour today. I think we’re actually pretty good at it. We seem to max out the stars a lot, and we both get a lot of “perfect” notes but hey who knows? Perhaps we just happen to move at the right time. Ubisoft unlimited is free for the lockdown period so we’ve got access to the whole library of songs which has made the game much better. I’d consider paying for it, but at £15 a month I’m not sure if I’m ready to commit to that sort of subscription, especially if we don’t have time to play it again after lockdown! Alex hasn’t made his own character yet so he just plays as Jazzy.

I read some of my book on the ottoman as the rain pattered lightly against the window. I love the sound of rain against the window, as the room is mainly windows, it sounds like rain against a conservatory. It is one of the most relaxing sounds. Though, I do think the sea hitting the shore and then retreating again wins. Fortunately, if we can’t hear one of them, it’s usually because we can hear the other. I’m 70% through my book, The Flatshare now, so I’m sure I’ll finish it soon. It does annoy me in the Leon chapters as they emit lots of pronouns and for speech they write it:

Alex: what you doing?

Says I’m going to the balcony room to read a book. Looks at me and smiles.

But in the Tiffy chapters speech is like a normal book where there are you know, use speech marks and stuff. It’s also written in full sentences. I get it shows difference in character, but I’m not sure why the description around it has to be broken down. Other than that though, I am enjoying the book. So far, it’s been predictable but I like it nonetheless!

I’ve got plenty of books still left to read. I set myself the challenge to read 5 books before the end of lockdown, and considering I’m about to finish number 4, and Sanchez has announced that he’s looking to extend again until midnight on May 10th, I think I’m pretty safe in being able to finish my challenge!

I sat with Alex and played a bit of Brawl Stars. It’s the only mobile game I play now. I’ve got something ridiculous like 17,000 trophies which the kids never believe so I always have to show them. I’d been top 100 in Spain for a while, so they were stunned. Ha. Looking back, my screen time hasn’t altered too much on my iPad, it’s just I’m now spending less time on mobile games and social media and more time reading or doing my languages. I think it’s a healthy change, to be honest. I do still love a game or two of Brawl Stars though.

Alex is watching Big Hero 6 The Series and The Three Caballeros so on the odd occasion I look over and watch some of it. When I do look over, they are good though. Baymax is such a cutie.

I got ready in preparation for the radio show. They said they were FaceTiming and I had a horrible feeling that it might be a video between me and them, but just an audio for the radio (obviously), but it ended up being just a FaceTime audio. I didn’t want to be caught out sitting in my pyjamas with a blanket.

Rio in his blanket

I think the radio show went okay! It was about 20 minutes in total and we talked about the lockdown in Spain, Sweden, Johannesburg and the U.K.. it was interesting to find out that Sweden don’t have any government imposed lockdown, and many are not happy about it. He mentioned that he was self-isolating and would rather have a government imposed lockdown. I spoke about how lockdown was for us and what effects I think it might have. I had quite a few messages from lots of friends and followers saying they’d listened and that I came across as positive, or came across really well which made me super happy. My family had listened in, and some of my friends too. Alex’s uncle had also listened in which was a nice surprise. There were lots of people letting me know they’d listened who I hadn’t expected would’ve listened. Even though everybody is lockdown so there’s not much going on, it’s still amazing to find out somebody has taken time out of their day to give it a listen and support.

The BBC also called me after to thank me for taking part and letting me know they were really happy with how I came across on air. They asked if they could keep my details on file for potential opportunities in the future which is quite exciting.

Cheese and tomato sandwich in lockdown

We had cheese and tomato sandwiches for lunch. You might think, okay why’s that important? But to me, it kind of is. For the first time in a few days, we actually had lunch. We had spicy chicken strips with salad for dinner so we ate pretty well today, perhaps the nervousness made me hungry.

I then FaceTimed my best friend since when we were 15. We caught up and chatted away, it’s always like we’ve never been apart and catch up and chat like we only spoke yesterday. We must’ve chatted for an hour, or so but the time flies by. I also FaceTimed my mum, dad and Nan just after the interview. The dogs FaceTimed each other too, they definitely notice each other on the screen. Rio loves Marley so much, he still sometimes looks back for him when he’s on his walk.

My two dogs FaceTiming each other

We watched the new Aladdin remake after dinner, I really do like the new Aladdin. It’s made exponentially better by Will Smith, but I do like the film a lot. We got it on DVD before lockdown but hadn’t watched it yet (we did watch it in the cinema). I did my languages while the movie was on as I hadn’t yet done them today, must’ve been with all of the excitement.

It was quiet outside, nothing out of the ordinary there. But no rain, no wind, no waves crashing against the shore, it was just… quiet. And dark. There had been a gorgeous sunset considering it had been cloudy for the most part of the day. There had been a lot more cars than previously been driving around, which can only be one of two things. People getting angsty in lockdown and finding reasons to go out, or there’s a lot more going to work after the 2 weeks pause.

Quiet outside in lockdown

Lots of people are under the impression that Spain has lowered lockdown. The U.K. media have played it out that Spain has allowed non-essential work to continue and that it shows hope for the U.K. doing the same as they’re a week behind. The misinformation is crazy. How can sky news report on something so untrue? Spain hasn’t lowered its lockdown. We still can’t exercise. We still can’t have more than one person in a car. We still can’t go anywhere except the supermarket. What happens is, a few secondary essential workers were told to not work for 2 weeks. Construction originally came under essential work, maintenance came under essential work, gardeners and pool cleaners came under essential work but for two weeks they were also put into lockdown. This meant only the essential essential workers were allowed to work. This two week period was to help curve it at its highest peak. They have now been able to return to work. These people were the ones working when lockdown was imposed.

With government asking for an extension until May 10th, I can definitely see us being locked down until at least then. There is talks that after this one, there might be a transitional period. One where they start to let people out to do a little exercise, or let children be allowed to the park and allow a few beaches to be open, but with social distancing being an enforced law. It’s all uncertainty everywhere at the moment, with a lot up in the air, but one thing is for sure, it’s not a lax lockdown like the news reported it as.

Keeping positive on lockdown after speaking on bbc radio 5 live

Everyday is one day closer. We’re all making our way through in the best way we can. Give your friends a call. Start a new hobby. Binge watch TV. Read a book. We’re in a pandemic, you don’t need to feel guilty by not yet doing what you set out to do. You still have time to start it, if you want to. No matter how you spend your time, as long as you’re staying home (if you’re not a key worker. If you are a key worker then thank you for all you do!), you’re doing your bit to flatten the curve and save lives. Keep positive and keep safe.

Keep safe,

Lx

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Hola! I'm Lauren ("Loh - run") — A twenty-something, engaged, English girl living on the Costa Blanca, obsessed with travel, love and elephants.

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