Here we go again
Mallorca, where I have lived the last two years, has just been put on lockdown due to Covid 19, also known as Wuhan corona virus. I wish I had written a diary when I lived in Hong Kong during the SARS epidemic in 2003 and 2004, but there you go. At the time we weren't quarantined; people were going about their business, travelling on the underground and working. But they were all wearing surgical masks. The whole city looked like a gigantic convention for dentists. I tried one once, for one day, and they were damned uncomfortable. And many people were wearing them on their heads, under their chins, in their hands. The main thing was, they probably thought, that they did wear masks!
Now, apparently, the corona virus is on the retreat both in Hong Kong and mainland China, mainly because the people there knew what to do. With a sigh (and in China's case, with armed government officials stationed outside their house), they put on their masks again, bought up all the toilet paper and went back to life as normal. Poor Hong Kong! This came hot on the heels of six months of riots and upheavals, deserted streets and shopping malls.
From today, the people of Mallorca are supposed to stay home for the next 15 days, except for going to work and going shopping. And did they ever! My local supermarket had long lines and staff was only allowing small groups of people in at a time. I therefore legged it all the way to the other side of Palma and the Chinese shop, to stock up on lotus root and some instant noodles. The thing is, we don't have to 'stock up'. The delivery lines are not down. Shops will stay open and will have goods in them.
But when people don't know, they panic. And then they panic buy.
Palma, although it's not yet the tourist season, was unseasonally empty. This kind of cheered me, because it shows that people have social conscience. Unlike me!
I went to three Chinese shops, and all the staff were wearing masks. They even advertised with this on the shop door: "The staff of this shop is wearing masks for your safety!" So I will go there in future. You just never know! Oh, and they have better food.
Keep calm and carry on! We will be fine. But this thing will change the whole world forever, that's for damned sure.