Isolation Diary: Day Twenty-Six in Spain Lockdown

Wednesday 15th April 2020

Grey sky Benidorm lockdown

26 is my favourite number so if any day should be the height of excitement, I’d have been hoping for it to be this one. On the whole, it was a good day. Everyday is a good day or a bad day now. There’s no external factors to influence and manipulate your day, it’s just you and your reaction.

I like to think I’m quite predictable with my emotions, I’m good at recognising how I feel before it gets out of hand and changing the situation. But I didn’t used to. I’m privileged to be able to control my own mind and take control of how I feel and react. Not everybody has that.

On the BBC, they’d asked me how I think other people are affected in terms of mental health by one of the debatably toughest lockdowns in the world, being beaten potentially only by some countries in Asia, and Russia. How would they feel? Helpless. Trapped. Drowning even there’s no water. The feeling of being trapped in your own mind then resonates to being trapped in reality. You feel this trapped sense inside, but then for it to be an actual real life trap, there’s no escape. No escape from your own mind. No escape from your own thoughts. It’s a scary thought.

I don’t know about you, but I do a lot of thinking in lockdown. I’m at a major fault here as one of the flaws to this is I think and think about everybody who’s having it worse, but don’t do anything about it. I just think. I’ve started to develop fears too. The other day I was thinking about how when this is all over, I’ll have to go back to work again. Travel to work. Be at work. Not just the germ sense either. But, I’ll have to be outside. with people. Then I was thinking about the ledge. It’s so high. What if I fell? Or what if the entire balcony room collapsed? It already leans ever so slightly down and there’s a crack in the floor, so what if it just fell? I can shake these thoughts off pretty quickly and get on with something else. It’s worrying to think about others who are perhaps alone with their thoughts, or unable to control them.

It was a dark morning. The sun usually shines through and lights up the living room, but not today. It was dark. The sort of sky that threatens a thunderstorm. Crack. And there it was. Straight away the morning thunderstorm had begun. The island that so famously breaks up the horizon was nowhere to be seen. We’ve all heard the silly island stories, right? The one about the giant kicking it and that’s why the mountain behind has an island shaped hole? To be fair, whoever made up the story has a great imagination, the space between the two mountains fits the shape too. I think people might know this, but just in case, it’s not a hole in the mountain. It’s two mountains with a space between when you stand at a certain angle.

It didn’t last long, and neither did the rain. But it was on and off all day. Alex went off on his weekly adventure to carrefour. It’s the only time we spend money now. It seems strange. It would be nice to have my government ERTE support payment though… It says you collect 70% of your monthly income paid between the 10-15th every month. It’s still not in.

Doing languages in lockdown

I broke the routine. I did my yoga straight after I wrote my post, like I said I would. I started with the ab blaster today so that afterwards could be a nice, relaxing, stretching workout. It worked better. Alex came back stocked up just as I was finishing up the routine. He’d picked me up a Frappuccino Starbucks drink too. I hadn’t asked for one but it’s lovely when somebody brings you back something that they know you’d like. I’d of course studied my languages too.

Frappe from Starbucks in lockdown

I didn’t have any particular plans all day. Sounds silly doesn’t it? Of course I didn’t have plans. I am counting down until Friday though so I don’t have to do the socials anymore for the dance brand and have to work to their ridiculous demands. Like “we’re releasing a campaign in ten minutes. Make stories and write captions” at 8pm at night. Who sends messages at that short notice?!

Playing just dance in lockdown

We played just dance for a bit. Alex has his own character now. We’re enjoying dancing to the songs and trying to beat each other. Usually, it’s me who wins. But Alex does steal a few each day. I end up sweating by the end, and the next day I am starting to ache like when I was at dancing so I think it’s paying off in terms of fitness. It’s a really good alternative to going out for a run or what have you.

Alex and his new phone in lockdown

Alex’s new phone was delivered in the afternoon. He was super happy with it. It’s weird to see him with an iPhone and converted over. He’s always been an Android lover and he’s finally converted to an iPhone. He seemed to have fun downloading and playing with his new apps now he has a phone that can actually cope with games!

I finished The Flatshare book today. I did enjoy it. I struggled to get into it with Leon’s chapters being so oddly written but I was fixated by it and needed to keep going. The storyline was wholesome, sure it was a little predictable at times, but it was a nice book. I always feel guilty about using the word nice because I remember in high school they wouldn’t let you use the word nice, but sometimes something is nice.

I’ve decided I want my own Baymax. He’s cute, he’s loveable and he’s funny. Think somebody could program one for me? Or maybe a cute plush will suffice.

I FaceTimed my friend, Amy, in the afternoon and spoke to her and her daughter for a while. I hate to think that the kids we are close to forget who we are when we’re not around in Leicester. She’s got such a lovely, cheeky personality, she’s so funny to watch.

Having my sandwich with Rio

We’d had a cheese, tomato and cucumber sandwiches for lunch and then had stuffing topped pork with mashed potatoes for dinner. The day had passed pretty quickly and before we knew it Asa’s Lockdown TV was starting. We’d planned to do the Benidorm quiz after but half an hour in they were having technical difficulties and it hadn’t started so we abandoned ship.

I started a new book, The woman who went to bed for a year, so far the most interesting part is that it’s set in Leicester. Other than that, it’s boring so far. The good news is it’s only 200 pages so I’m hoping to be done with it soon. Alex said I shouldn’t be surprised that it’s boring when it has such a boring title. I’m only 50 pages in so I’m hoping it will improve, otherwise the “hilarious” plastered across the front page is nothing but a lie.

Alex took Rio for his last wee of the day and I headed off to bed. We are so lucky to have access to technology to keep up close with others, keep us entertained and active. I can’t help but feel sad for people in the world in lockdown who aren’t as fortunate to have a lockdown with technology, or even running water. We are so lucky to be able to pass our days as we can.

I go to bed and dream of watching someone falling. Falling and falling until they can’t fall anymore. And I’m helpless. I can’t save them. I wonder what a dream analyst would make of it all.

Sleeping in lockdown

The education officials in Spain have announced that students will be awarded grades by their teachers dependent on their first two terms and a fail will be near enough impossible, except in super extreme cases. It says all early education, primary, secondary and first year of pre-university will be granted a passing grade. There are lots of places in Spain where WiFi is still not great, or children (or teachers!) without access to technology and WiFi so the online classes have been successful in varying degrees. 10% of the educational age population still don’t have access to technology. It says some children might fail because of it, but for one of the first times, they can’t be held back a year because of it. It’s common for children to be held back a year in Spain, with lots of children having to retake years, even in primary if they fail classes. So, this will be some positive news for some children who have been confined to their homes for over a month now.

The daily infections has had a slight increase, but the daily deaths have now fallen again. On Wednesday, the Tuesday figures were 523 deaths which was another slight decrease from the day before. The rise in new infections may be because there has been an increase in testing, as two million rapid tests were distributed to speed up detection of cases. It may also be because of a delay in reporting due to the Easter weekend. There are now 70,850 coronavirus patients who have recovered and been discharged from hospital.

Keep safe,

L x

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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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