I have been documenting my life in quarantine on my Facebook page for family and friends elsewhere. Ali asked me if I could also post it here. I will post two days at a time until we’re caught up. Hope you’re all coping out there and keep yourselves safe.
Day 1 – Monday March 16th
As most of you know I live in Madrid where we are currently under quarantine to try to slow down the COVID-19 virus outbreak here. For those of us not working in the critical industries you must stay home and are only allowed to leave the house to go to the supermarket, chemist, doctors or to take the rubbish out. Even then you must go alone and not as a family or couple. You may not leave the house for any exercise or recreational activity or you risk some heavy fines. Police are patrolling the streets stopping anyone who shouldn’t be out. Given such strange times I’ve decided to document my days for prosperity and because it gives me something to do.
Day one was not much different. I only got back to Madrid on the last flight the previous night and got to bed about 1am, so I didn’t wake up until late. By the time I’d had a leisurely breakfast and washed it was nearly 11am. I read some of my latest novel, played some games on my iPad to pass the time until 11am and studiously avoided reading the news or going on Facebook. I’d been watching the Corona Virus updates like a hawk for the last week in case I needed to make a mad dash back to Madrid before it was closed to the outside world (which I did) and frankly had had enough of bad news. I needed a break.
So I spent the rest of the morning calling my friends and family to let them know I had made it back OK and that I was here if they needed to talk to me. Turned out I have more friends than I realised as that took me through to 2pm.
I then decided to go to the nearest supermarket. To be honest I had enough food in the house to last a few days as a good friend had done some shopping for me on the Sunday and dropped it at my house. I also brought some stuff back from the UK. However I was curious to see if it was possible to shop and I wanted to get some ingredients in to do some batch cooking and felt today was the best day as most of Madrid had done their panic buying over the weekend.
I had another reason to hurry. That morning my periods started. I suffer from seriously bad menstruation cramps that have got more erratic and painful during the perimenopause. Being female is sometimes seriously crap. I knew I had about 6 hours before the pain seriously started at which point I would be confined to bed with a hot water bottle. This usually goes on for 2-3 days in 6 hour batches on and off.
The streets were eerily quiet. I didn’t see any police but my route to Mercadona passes through a park area that is now covered with police tape to say no using the recreation facilities. Mercadona now has a guard on the door but I was able to enter no problem as there were very few customers inside. The fresh produce shelves were full. Fruit, vegetables and meat were easy to buy. The dried goods shelves, toilet paper, and crisps were all empty. There was some frozen produce but not much. But the bakery was still active. There was also plenty of wine left (Thank God!). Probably not the best stuff but it will do.
I felt better because I have enough dried goods at home and as long as I can buy fresh I will be fine. On my way out of Mercadona the number of customers had increased significantly. The guard was preventing people from entering until someone had left.
I had just enough time to get home and grab something to eat before the cramps started at around 4pm. Hot bath and bed with a hot water bottle for the next 6 hours. It’s miserable and the world can basically sod off, as far as I’m concerned, until I feel better. I got out of bed at 8pm, still cramping, when everyone in my urbanisation went to their windows to clap for the health workers. I made an appearance at the window but wasn’t up to clapping. It was an uplifting moment though.
As the cramps started to die down later that evening I made another couple of calls to friends and a post onto a face group I manage for Costa Women in Madrid by which time it was 10pm. Some snacking on hummus and crackers whilst watching TV (not the news) and then it was back to bed for the night.
Not the greatest of days but pretty normal for that time of the month to be honest. It helped that it rained all afternoon. You don’t mind be cooped up so much in bad weather.