September 25, 2020

Coronavirus Spain: How to live confined on an island – La Provincia


Double insulation. Once the initial nervousness of staying in the middle of the sea without transport to the peninsula had been overcome after authorizing the Maritime Captaincy a boat in which they could go once a week to Santa Pola for food and medicine, the nearly 70 people who the pandemic has caught on Tabarca they try to lead a normal life.

Passing the state of alarm for the pandemic on an island can be scary because it is a double confinement, in the middle of the sea and far from the city. But for many of the about 70 people who have been “trapped” on the island, the confinement is an opportunity to recover the family life of yesteryear that was lost between work and study hours, and share gatherings, board games and spend more time with the children. That inside the house, as he points out the newspaper ‘Information’.

And from doors outside, since you can not go out for a walk or chat, the conversations are now from window to window. The dog walk is also used to leave food that another neighbor needs somewhere on the island and that he can pick them up later, since the only grocery store that exists is closed and the weekly trip that the residents will take turns in a boat authorized by Maritime Captaincy to Santa Pola so they can buy food and medicine.

Ana Valera and David Blasco They are at their home in Tabarca with their 19 and 21-year-old children, whom they picked up from the peninsula and were taken to the island when classes were cut. The couple, who runs a souvenir shop, had gone to Tabarca to start preparing the business for the summer.

They had received 30% of the merchandise before the break of life due to the coronavirus and were preparing the establishment for the tourist season. “I don’t know how we are going to go out this summer, things are complicated, “says David, who is looking for the positive side.” With their jobs and studies, the family life of games and gatherings suffers a bit, in that sense it has been good for us to share, work together a little, watch movies … Of course, annoyed by the coronavirus, let’s see if we have a happy ending and among all of us we manage to have a normal life again. Yes we miss going out, because we are used to going for a walk and chatting with the neighbors, up and down, but in Tabarca it is very good “.

His wife corroborates that they are not living badly the double isolation because they are in family, all together. “Life in Tabarca is very calm and we are used to it. We were concerned about the impotence of not being able to go down to the peninsula to buy because there are people who they have no family in Santa Pola so that they can do it and send it to them but thanks to the efforts of Carmen Martí (the president of the neighborhood association) we will have a boat. “

At home these days the routine is cleaning in the morning, playing Parcheesi in the afternoon and entertaining games with the console of your children. “I brought a little paint for the damp that the last storm left on the walls and we are fixing it. The walk is missed. Here on the island there is no case (contagion) but the neighbors keep a lot of distance. We come from Alicante and Santa Pola, and the quarantine must be passed. People are fulfilling it“says Ana Valera.

At 92 years old, the mother of Carla López has been locked up for about 10 days. “Okay, but I didn’t want to go out before things were so serious. She is afraid, she’s very aware of everything they say on TV,” explains the daughter, who has been forced to temporarily stop, due to the state of alarm, at his job in a hotel on the island. “There are more people than usual in Tabarca at this time of year. People have come from here who were going to shut themselves up at home, and who were preparing the restaurants for the tourist season the forced stop has caught them here. People outside the town are few, only some people who were on the weekend and have decided to stay. ” The life of this neighbor has also changed: she gets up later because he doesn’t have to work, She has breakfast, when her mother gets up she prepares it for her, although sometimes the lady prefers to do it for her, she explains, she cleans the house, does the laundry.

“Everyone is at home, you go out with the dog, who has it, you come back. Despite having more neighbors than normal for March, which would give more vibe to the town, the streets are very deserted. Everyone is at home, except the nurse or the local police, or those who have pets. If someone goes down the street sometimes someone else opens the door, because almost everything here is ground floor, and we greet each other from a distance.They ask how you are, or we talk from window to window. There are no meetings. If you cross someone with the dog or go out to leave a food product that another neighbor leaves you somewhere because you need it, the distances are kept for consistency, “explains this tabarquina.

Carla is used to opening the door and seeing the street, something that does not happen in the city, for which she feels lucky. “Now I open and it’s deserted, just a kitten on the street, and nothing else.” Neighbors thank their supportive people who want to help, such as the police, the neighborhood association that has struggled to charter a food supply ship, and the restaurant that this Thursday, San José’s day, will give raciones de arroz a banda to the neighbors, with the necessary precautions not to break the established safety distance.

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