Monday, August 3, 2020

Life Lately Round 12

Well it has been a little over a month since I last updated everyone on our life here in Spain...  When we left off, the state of alarm was lifted and things went back to the "new normal" which for a few weeks looked a lot like the old normal.  Our sleepy beach town came alive with all the tourists as if there was no pandemic and it has worried us.  Restaurants and bars are packed, people are out and about -- but at least the beaches are being patrolled.

Of course all the tourists mean the numbers of COVID cases are rising yet again -- back into the 1000s of new positive cases daily but this time no shutdowns are happening (yet).  Various regions throughout Spain have gone back to some of the earlier phases but nothing like the strict lock down of March and April (thank goodness).  We get a new update from the base almost weekly of areas within Spain or Europe we can't travel to due to increase in case numbers.  And coming from Spain, quite a few countries have shut their borders to us.  

In early July our region made a stricter mandate for masks -- basically all the time you are outside your home or not with your family.  So even walking to the grocery store by myself, I have to wear a mask.  Walking Serafina to camp, I have to wear a mask.  Taking the trash out, mask on.  Luckily the mandate doesn't require (but does encourage) masks for kids under the age of 6 so we don't make Serafina wear one unless she is inside a store -- especially with her asthma, it is better for her if she isn't in a mask.

Speaking of her asthma, we saw the pediatric pulmonologist in Jerez (so a Spanish doctor) at the end of June and he was amazing (and spoke perfect English which made it easier for all of us).  He was just as shocked as we all are that her breathing issues only started in early March.  He switched up her inhaler (this is now switch number three in just about as many months) and wants to get some lung tests as well as allergy testing done.  Because of COVID, we have had a hard time scheduling her testing but we hope to have it done by the end of August.  And the inhaler switch has helped A LOT so that has been good.  
Camps started up again for kids, with more limited spaces and more safety/health precautions in place.  We decided to sent Serafina to camp since she desperately needed social interactions with kids and to practice her Spanish -- and it is the same camp she went to last year so we knew it was amazing.  They have temperature checks at pick up and drop off, lots of hand washing...  The teachers wear masks or face guards (or both).  But the kids are able to be together and run and play.  They aren't doing the same activities as they did last summer, but she is still having fun and that is all that matters.
We have been able to enjoy time with friends, going to the beach and out to eat.  We all carry masks everywhere and I have ours stashed by the door on hooks so we grab one each time we leave the house.  We are still hanging out with the same few families and friends over and over again, keeping our circle small and trying not to take any unnecessary risks.  We have had a few friends travel within Spain and Portugal in early July but now that things are slowly shutting down again, we feel like we missed our opportunity to travel.  But that is fine with us -- we are just so thankful Spain took things seriously the first go around so we can get out of the house and actually enjoy our summer and let Serafina play with friends. 

As of right now, both the base school and Spanish schools are planning on having in-person instruction starting this school year.  We enrolled Serafina in both just to keep our options open. Our first choice is to keep her in Spanish school but distance learning in Spanish is a little (A LOT) challenging for all of us.  So keep your fingers crossed things stay okay and we get to send our sweet girl to Spanish school in September.    

And that is really it -- hopefully my next update is just as boring!

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