This time it's personal
Instead of tomorrow (Monday) morning 0800 as threatened promised, the total lockdown of Mallorca thundered into action today, Sunday. All "well" and "good", but what about Koldbrann, my ginger brute, flown here at great expense from Hong Kong? Wouldn't I be able to take him out - for 15 days?!? The rumours started flying on Facebook, but after a couple of hours word came down via the Citizens' Advice Bureau that
The Board has approved a general measure to maximise restricted movement by citizens. Citizens are only allowed to leave their homes, individually (unless accompanying a disabled person or for another justified reason), in the following situations, both on foot and by car:
- to buy food or other primary necessities, or to get prescription meds from the farmacia
- to visit medical facilities in case of urgency
- to go to your workplace or to carry out labour, professional or company duties
- to return to your habitual home
- to take care of children or other dependant family members or to assist elderly or disabled people
- to visit banking or insurance institutions
- for reasons of overwhelming force or situation of necessity
- for any other activity of an analogous nature duly justified
- to walk your pet (this was not mentioned in the original list, but mentioned specifically during the Q&A after the press conference)
- to fill your vehicle up with fuel.
Basically, you can go out for any reason at all it seems, except that all bars, restaurants etc etc are closed. Only nature is open.
But then two separate friends told me that they had tried to walk their dogs this morning but had been "sent home" by "stern" police. What the hell? My Koldbrann needs two hours' walk per day and so do I.
I had planned to cook for some people today and indeed had started inviting them more than a week ago in the halcyon days of "only Italy is closed down." Even yesterday morning we thought the lunch could go ahead, as a Last Gasp (ha!) before total house arrest set in. But bugger me if I didn't have to cancel! I and my friends are now the, cough, splutter, TARGET GROUP for this virus. That's right - me, old?!? But, but... I have only ever been young? How can this be! Anyway, I did the socially responsible thing and cancelled. But even a socially responsible person gets hungry, and so I made dumplings for myself.
Having completely missed the run on the supermarket a few days ago, I didn't have any meat, but had already taken the dumpling skins out of the freezer. Soy beans and potatoes mashed together with salt, Sichuan pepper and egg yolk to the rescue! It's delisssshhhhes. In fact, better than pork.
This is a strange time. It's the kind of time when people instinctively huddle together, but now you get fined for that. Fortunately I'm used to living and working alone. And fortunately I live in Mallorca and have a garden, so I can follow this excellent advice from the time of the Spanish flu: Get as much sunshine and fresh air as possible!
You know those plucky Italians who go out on their balconies and sing Nessun Dorma or whatever, to cheer each other up? I tried that with Chinese opera. Got pelted with objects.
Are you quarantined? Use the time wisely. Learn Cantonese from me on Skype! Me, I'm writing a Spanish textbook. More about that later.