Friday, June 19, 2020

COVID-19 Quarantine Updates (Final Update)

Over the past month or more, the country of Spain and our small province of Cadiz has begun to slowly loosen restrictions to create our "new normal" -- which basically means the continuing of social distancing, not gathering in large groups and wearing face masks.  Our entire territory of Andalucia has moved into Phase 3 which is the final phase of things loosening up.  And thankfully the numbers within our region and the entire country seem to have stayed low.  

If you need a refresher on our past weeks -- week one here and week two here and week three here and week four here and week five here and week six here and week seven here and week eight here and week nine here and week ten here and week eleven here.

The estado de alarma is set to expire for real this time on June 21st so in two days (and it will not be not extended).  Since March 14th the Spanish government has been voting to extend it every two weeks The state of alarm allowed the central Madrid government to take control of all of the territories (sort of like if the American federal government had taken control of the states).  Once the state of alarm expires, the territories then resume control over what happens with COVID and such.  As of now, we haven't heard if or how things will change once the state of alarm ends but we are fairly certain things will stay the same as Phase 3.  

And as the weeks go on, I feel more and more like we are back to "normal" -- you know, other than wearing masks everywhere, no school for Serafina...  But Trevor is working full-time again and Serafina and I are home each day trying not to lose our minds!  We are doing just fine, but the days sure are long.  Some summer camps are opening up but no word on the amazing camp that Serafina went to last year yet -- I am hoping and praying and crossing all of my fingers and toes.  I have hired a babysitter to watch Serafina a few days a week to give us both a break from each other and to have Serafina keep practicing her Spanish.  And even better, the babysitter will watch Serafina in her own home so I get to be ALONE in the house for the first time in way too long.  However, of course, I find myself running around like a crazy person getting all the errands done without having to drag Serafina around.  We have been able to do some fun activities with friends as well -- going to a local small farm to learn about planting vegetables and Serafina went for a one day camp they had.  She had a blast and came home exhausted and covered in dirt. 

The beaches are open with social distancing and even the pop up beach bars (called chirinquitos) are being built which makes me really happy because it means things are slowly going back...  My girlfriends and I have been going to our favorite restaurants every Friday night which has been so amazing.  Most are very small and local so it has been fun seeing the owners and chefs we have gotten to know over the years.  And also we are so happy to be together and supporting the local economy.  


It has also been amazing seeing friends.  While we continue to see the same friends over and over, it has been so good for all of us.  Although the goodbyes after playdates have been very hard on Serafina.  We are noticing that this season of change has been hard on the kids, adults too even.  For so long the kids were told they couldn't do anything because of COVID so Serafina and a lot of her friends have been struggling with now being allowed to do things.... But we are working on it and keep talking about how the virus is slowly going away and such.  

More and more people are arriving in our small beach town for the summer so it makes us all a little nervous but also happy to see people enjoying their lives again.  Borders still aren't open within the countries in Europe, but they will start opening up on June 21st -- with only countries from the European Union (and the Portugal border won't open until July 1st).  We still aren't sure if we will travel this summer -- depends on a lot of things.  We hope to at least be able to take a road trip around Spain but we are also being realistic.  At this point we are perfectly happy to spend some time enjoying our small town, the beach and friends!

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