Well, two: Beirut, Lebanon and Malaga, Spain. A couple of friends and I have decided to chronicle our experience during the lockdowns, quarantines, travel bans, and other restrictions during the #COVID-19 pandemic. More perspectives welcome – if you’re interested in sharing yours, please send me a guest post!
Post #2: March 15, 2020
From RJD in Beirut:
So this morning I ventured out to our Costco which is oddly enough located in Dahyieh and owned by Shia…the irony of Lebanon.
On the street, there was little traffic. On a normal day, this tri would take two hours. Today I went and came back in 45.
But people were wearing masks and/or gloves except in Dahyieh. Nothing, not even Covid 19, phases Dahyieh!!!!
Went into the store, which was packed and had tons of toilet paper! Bought (literally) 12 pack toilet paper, 2 Lysol wipes, 2 antibacterial soap, 18 wet cat food cans. Total: $100 which is all I had in cash. They no longer accept credit cards. Lebanese economic crisis.
Coming home, I disinfected the steering wheel, car door and my hands. At home, building key pad, door handle, elevator buttons and door. Then, each item I bought. Then, my handbag, clothes, shoes are all on the balcony in the sun. Each item I touched was disinfected from car keys to hand gel to phones AND I ended up between all this washing my hands 7 times for 20 seconds each time.
The new reality. Think I will stay home from now on. Who needs toilet paper, use the bidet instead!!!!
Sunday morning: the church bells are ringing. Looking out my window, I realize how odd it is to see empty streets in Malaga. My neighbor across the street coughs that smoker’s cough, the same one I used to have. Suddenly, I’m nervous that our street is tiny and narrow.
I go for a walk, painfully conscious that there are very few other people out. Those who have ventured into the quiet, empty streets are carrying grocery bags. They walk quietly, quickly, worriedly. The police are wearing face masks, and driving slowly up and down the streets. They look menacingly at the few pedestrians. The message is clear: go home!
There’s virtually no traffic. I jaywalk with confidence.
What’s getting to me is the silence. Malaga is not a silent city. In fact, Malaga is a LOUD city – at virtually any time of day or night. The silence is deafening.
I can’t wait till 2200, when I join others all over Spain as we open our windows and applaud the efforts of medical personnel. Only then will this beautiful, silenced city come alive.
Until 2200, #coronavirus has us in its grip.