The World Health Organisation’s coronavirus announcement saw USA President Donald Trump promising that Covid-19 would simply go away: “It’s like a miracle. It will disappear,” said Trump.
At that point the virus had killed more than 3,000 people – and was migrating around the globe.
Colombia and Peru, South Africa, Cameroon, Australia, New Zealand were countries affected – and then coronavirus arrived in Europe.
From 150 cases in Spain and 4,000 in Italy, the contagion has since swept through both countries, unabated.
Without tests, no one knew how bad it was. You can have coronavirus, but be unaware, with no symptoms.
In Spain the number of cases doubled. Community transmission had been confirmed in Madrid and in the Basque country.
On March 9, Italy had been locked down. Spain followed suit. Madrid’s public schools closed.
Panic and fear came to the fore, with many thinking they wouldn’t be able to travel. Something that has now happened.
At that time it was announced by governments it might be months before things return to normal.
Airlines were feeling the hit of coronavirus – and upped exorbitant prices for flights. A shocking move and one they should be ashamed of. To take financial advantage of the people in the time of a world epidemic is beyond belief. Greed comes to the fore, even in unprecedented times we find ourselves in.
Now, many airlines are, or already have, cancelled all flights to and from Spain to the UK, starting at the weekend.
In the USA on March 11, Donald Trump closed the borders to the ‘foreign virus’, as he called it. Banning European peoples, except from England. Since changed.
Barcelona was sealed off, following two government ministers testing positive for Covid-19, along with a number of politicians.
Today streets and roads are all but abandoned, under strict government regulations, to combat the dangers of coronavirus.
Panic buying has appeared to be worse in the UK, with toilet rolls hitting the headlines, as soap, beans, pasta, oil, et al, disappear from shelves.
Like Trump, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has taken matters more seriously, than he initially did.
But, peoples movements aren’t as restricted, in the UK, like here in Spain.
“Workers in England have been told to work from home, in many areas,” said an anonymous person, who asked not to be named.
He told The Leader: “I am retired and went to a few supermarkets to do the shopping.
“It was chaotic. I don’t think people were working from home – they were all out shopping!
“It was ‘Bedlam’ – something I’ve never seen before.”
In a state of emergency the closure of all non-essential businesses and the confinement of Spain’s 47 million residents to their homes, except when buying groceries or other necessities, caring for dependents, going to the doctor, or, if necessary, travelling to and from work, have been imposed.
Incidents have occurred where law-breakers have been arrested. Many have been stopped and warned to return home, if they are breaking protocol.
Even then, there are people who still think they are above the law – and continue to go out – for a leisurely walk. Some, under darkness. I have witnessed it myself.
Confirmed coronovirus cases have increased daily, worldwide, since the outbreak of the cause in Wuhan, China.
In Spain, local police have been placed under the authority of the Ministry of the Interior and charged with enforcing the lockdown, issuing fines to anyone who cannot justify their presence outdoors.
The Spanish government is taking decisive and well co-ordinated measures, with the health of the population in mind.
Pedro Sánchez announced all private hospitals would be required to put their resources at the disposal of the National health system, and that all private enterprises possessing or capable of producing goods, that might be useful in the fight against the virus, had to report their holdings to the authorities.
PM Sánchez has passed a €200b package, including guarantees that all workers have the right to stay at home to care for their children, or dependents.
No-one will have their utilities cut off, while the coronovirus epidemic is present.
A moratorium on mortgage payments has been made for those who need it; expanded unemployment payments and social services for the elderly and direct financial assistance for individual workers and freelancers, as well as businesses, have been made.
Barcelona’s Mayor, Ada Colau, pressed for a moratorium rent and a freeze on evictions.
From Madrid and the Valencia regions, Torrevieja to Toledo, people are taking to their balconies – and leaning out of windows – to clap for the healthcare workers, and other workers at this time, including supermarket workers, to name some, in recognition of thanks.
Playing music and singing from balconies is also being undertaken at 8pm, precisely. Shows by people from showbusiness have taken place within the region, via the internet in the wake of the lockdown.
Since the announcement of the lockdown in Spain, the UK had not acted in the same stance.
PM Sánchez has addressed the Spanish nation – to explain the terms of the emergency order.
Boris Johnson has addressed the UK nation too, putting billions of pounds package in place. But, at the time of writing, he’s not reading from the same Hymn sheet, so to speak.
In the UK the Government has been active in the wake of the coronavirus. But has Boris Johnson done enough? Too little, too late.
Only time will tell.
We will get through the coronavirus epidemic, showing solidarity, working together, and keeping strong. Stay safe.