Lanzarote is recovering…
Such a bold statement to say given the current global circumstances. However, the island has managed the horror of COVID-19 with a fierce arm. We have lost neighbours, we have lost friends, but our community has shown solidarity and kindness throughout. 13 days now without a report of newly confirmed infection.
It’s 55 days since we entered a period of total lock-down, one of the toughest and strictest in the world. For the majority of that time, we have stayed indoors and for some including the children, it was nearly two months of seeing the same walls and none of our friends. The isolation was nothing less than extreme.
Still, in Phase Zero, this last week, we have opened our doors. We have had limited fresh air and taken to our bikes and surfboards again, even if only for one period a day and often alone. The hotels have remained closed. The tourists are gone. Each night we check the news in the Spanish language and make contact with loved ones across the whole world. Hasn’t tech been amazing?
Change is Coming
Now a change is coming. As ever, in Spain, we await official notice from the government that the rules will soon alter. Until that notice comes, we wait. But many now believe that Monday will bring Phase One for this island and some freedoms will be restored. That first coffee on a widely spaced terrace is looking less like a postcard and more like a chance.
Businesses here have suffered tremendously. The unemployment figures are scary and the financial support package always brought some debate. Still, we live, we breath, we try every morning to take one more step. On Monday we’ll be keen to share what little we have left with the cafes and small shops that will open again. It’s not enough but it’s something.
Yes, like everywhere, some have broken the rules. We know of parties behind closed doors and those people should be ashamed. We know of scams and demands that pushed our resolve. We know of people who didn’t have enough, not even the basics. This is humanity, this is a part of the cruelty that exists within us, often forgotten in better times.
We will remember those who lost their lives. We will remember those who stood on the front-line and cared with such selfless warmth. Some memories will never fade and must never pass but brighter times are coming. We work with the world to find a solution in science. We talk and we talk to find a way out. It is coming. It’s coming.
Island friends, yours was a full-on lockdown. It was also one blessed with the light of the sky and with the comfort of generosity. Those of us who came to this island from afar are united in a feeling that this is now our forever home. The rock in the sea kept us afloat when even the biggest of countries seemed to be fail in securing their people. You did it. This is yours now to keep.
COVID-19 will not pass. It will change and we will adapt. The impact on our lives is still here and warnings must be obeyed. You will wear your mask, you will keep distance, you will open your business only under strict conditions. Yes, some owners will lose everything in terms of money and savings and that cost will be a noble one, a loss we all see and salute. But the virus is not gone. It’s just lesser and smaller and we’re winning.
A Sense of Normality
From Monday, it’s likely that some sense of normality returns. And two weeks from then, another slice of tomorrow. We urge you to choose to do more than regulations say that you must. Do more to protect your neighbour than the minimum guide. Fight using compliance to make this phase work. Because we all live here together. This is our island, together. This place will support us for decades to come. Tomorrow is nada.
When it’s our time, it’s our time. Until that moment we are still here. This was never the end. We are together, alone. The smell of the arepa drifts now towards us. The coffee is bitter and strong, just as we like it. You can taste it coming and it will be worth all this wait. You see the ocean, yearning for toes? We’ll paddle, we’ll swim, we’ll float under this beautiful sky letting go of these fears.
Phase One is coming. Look out for the rules. Follow the rules. Obey your island and she will protect you. Listen for the sound of laughter, of joy, of the simple arguments between two men who play chess on the seafront again. Life here was always blessed and never left us entirely. On Monday, open your eyes to the sky and thank this volcano for being our home.
Lanza Loves You.
Go thrive. Siempre.
#Lanzarote #IslasCanarias #Thrive