It’s been a strange week in Spain, where the escalation of the Corona Virus crisis has effectively shut down everyday life.

On 8th March, everything was as normal. I went about my usual Sunday routine, including a trip to a lower league match and I was making plans for three matches across three days the following weekend.

But the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. And mine were about to do so in a way that few would have predicted…

Things began to escalate quickly. Following the Monday night announcement that schools and universities would close on Wednesday, all football was moved behind closed doors and later in the week, postponed. Following rumours that the regional government was going to close the Communidad de Madrid, lots of people who have holiday homes elsewhere in the country upped sticks and left, despite government advice to avoid unnecessary travel. On Friday, it was announced that all cafés and restaurants were to close in a bid to stop people gathering in groups.

Then on Saturday 14th March, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez officially put Spain in lockdown.

For the following 15 days, people will have to remain in their homes, only leaving for essential tasks such as food shopping, visits to the pharmacy, buying petrol, visiting a cashpoint and going to work. Although because this is Spain, trips to the tobacconist are included.

Sarah and I are fine, just following the government’s instructions to stay at home and avoiding going out unless strictly necessary.

At a time like this we’re just thankful that our flat hunt back in October proved successful and we have a place to ourselves. I’m not sure we would have survived lockdown sharing with other people.

My work is currently on pause while my academy figures out a way to continue classes remotely so I’ve been enjoying a bit of much-needed downtime. So far that has mostly consisted of working my way through some of the books I brought with me in January and watching every one of the official World Cup movies (which are available to stream on Amazon Prime) – mostly a wonderful nostalgic trip but I couldn’t help but feel disappointed by the 2010 one which departs from the winning formula of showing the highlights from the tournament in favour of a mostly boring behind the scenes look at the final. Way too many interviews with people in suits and not enough actual football!

A slightly terrifying drawing of Marcelo Bielsa from the official film of World Cup 2002

Posts here will continue – they might even come out a bit more frequently – as I have a bit of a backlog in my drafts to clear plus plenty of other ideas, including a few more Retro Trips and the first of a few City Guides.

It’s not exactly business as usual, but remaining productive will help make the days in lockdown pass by more quickly.

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