Madrid is BACK…….. Almost

Sand, CEO, Madrid, Spain

03 May 2020

Madrid is Back…almost. 48 days…. It’s  been 48 days since Madrid residents were allowed to leave the apartment for reasons other than going to the market, pharmacy or hospital. Or if lucky enough, to walk the dog… (A few residents attempted to circumvent the dog stipulation by walking their “pet” goldfish).

Last night we were finally set “free,” allowed to leave the apartment from 6am-10am OR 8pm-11pm. We took the risk and decided to go out for walks at BOTH designated times. And I’d say it was worth it. Before yesterday, walking outside was stressful from risk of infection or worry about police questioning. A walk usually ended up with a heavy haul of essentials from the grocery store. It sucked… there’s no other way to put it, but we did what we had to. Last night was different. Sure the thoughts of infection were still there, and a worry about all the people walking a bit too closely. But all that went to the back of mind when the weather, the energy, and the vibe took over and stole the show. 

COVID-19 hasn’t stopped neighbors in Chamberi from spreading some joy with decorations and music nightly

Chamberi, Madrid

On a day that reached almost 80 degrees, at 8pm the temp was slowly dropping and the city invited us out to bask in it’s glory. Madrid is back…maybe not the same Madrid as we once knew it, but the signs were promising.  A mix of people wearing masks, social distancing mostly honored and just a hint of activity around the COUNTLESS number of bars and restaurants. Madrid residents are ready and willing to come back, but the government isn’t quite ready for us.

“A street normally bustling with automobiles, was commandeered by bicyclists who were free to pick any lane and ride freely for miles “

I preferred the morning walk to the evening (aka Paseo, meaning “evening stroll” in Spain) but that’s mostly because I like to avoid crowds. Each walk was noticeably different in terms of partakers. Mornings are owned by the athletes; the runners and bicyclists of the city. Trapped inside with nowhere to stretch their legs other than up and down some stairwells. These people took the the streets with open arms. Paseo Castellano, a street normally bustling with automobiles, was commandeered by bicyclists who were free to pick any lane and ride freely for miles.

Morning stroll in Chamberi

Chamberi, Madrid

The evening paseo was for everyone else. Saturday night and the sun still in the sky, we took the the streets with wonder and yearning for what happens next. When can we finally get our fill of tapas? When will we be able to bump elbows with the bar crowd and order up dos canas or tinto de verano (skip the sangria next time you visit). And most importantly, when can we get to the beach?!

The answer, is all in good time. We’ve made it this far, and we’ve lost too many. Our healthcare workers and essential workers are the most amazing and BRAVE humans we could have asked for. Not only will they deserve to be recognized on a national and world level daily, they deserve a proper and long paid vacation when this is all over with. We must do right by them and I hope our governments add this recognition as top priority. THANK YOU TO ALL THOSE WHO ARE FIGHTING AND PROTECTING US FROM THIS VIRUS.


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