Day 16-17/ Lockdown in Barcelona

The unexpected yet beautiful home schooling/home activism experiment

Day 16 Saturday 28th March. The atmosphere is different and much better on a weekend, when we allow the pressure of “schooling” and “work” to lift.

We spent some time the three of us just playing and had a big lunch together, with the one other person who shares our building… socialising! I am thinking about ways to connect with the actual people around us, and as Naomi Klein pointed out – be less dependent on internet for everything and develop real life connections. So I’m working on an idea.. to organise a party for next Saturday evening. We can take lights, sound (we need louder speakers though) and a projector (we don’t have one) to the roof and play music requests from the neighbours in front. We could run a show! But the problem with that is that we would have to be the show. I love the idea of projecting the messages people send us on the wall Jordi from number 68 says “I love this neighbourhood! If anyone wants to borrow a dog ask me!” The first step is a banner on the wall to tell people, and put my phone number so they can contact with requests. A whatsapp group has a whole new meaning when it’s with people you can shout to during the 8pm evening clap.

Our claps have become a lot more intense since Bernat’s brother was admitted to hospital on Friday. He took a test for coronovirus today, and it came back negative. But the staff explained that the quick tests are so unreliable they miss cases, and many people get a positive result on the third time they take the test. Also, he has been moved out of the room they gave him by mistake on the first day, and he is now screened in a shared ward. They have told him he’ll be there between 5 and 15 days, and obviously he is not allowed any visitors. News today is he is not getting any worse, but he is unlucky and unhappy.

Spain are desperately waiting for the peak in cases, but Saturday still registered more daily covid-19 deaths than ever. The coverage of the crisis in Spain focuses very much on the day to day, the need for solidarity, and this week on the mistakes they made at the beginning. It is wildly different from the UK coverage, where it feels like they are trying to downplay death. I saw a headline in the Telegraph “Two thirds of coronavirus victims may have died this year anyway“. What’s behind that headline? MAY have died? I hate the Telegraph! They are also publicising that only 50% of ICU patients recover. (So why bother with the ventilators?) and are already taking a very interesting spin on the coverage by saying the UK will be lucky to keep deaths to under 20 000, which seems like a realistic number. Are they throwing out a massive number to numb people to the tragedy? Next headline “UK deaths are well below expected at only 19 000!” To all the UK readers.. get moving with DAILY NHS claps!! Solidarity!!

If you want to feel really awful about the world remember that close to 27000 people have died from coronavirus in 2020, and that 10000 people die every day from malnutrition.

Home-schooling : Not today!! although more reading happened spontaneously today than on Thursday or Friday….

Home-activism : Really excited about the party with the neighbours. Imaging the new beautiful world where we finish this crisis and all know each other?

oh and the Potato video!!! I finally made the first in my new idea of short videos on eco-living in Barcelona. Now it’s even more of a challenge under lockdown. I decided to throw in the extra element of presenting the videos in Catalan – stacking functions by learning Catalan at the same time as sending the message!! I haven’t checked how many views the videos have yet, but I know someone posted a question about why the water is brown. Well the answer is that you need several takes to self-produce a video in your third language for the first time! The first time I cut my head off, the second I pointed the camera at the wall instead of the planting. So basically those potatoes have been planted 4 times, with a wash in the jug in between each take. I don’t really know if potatoes that have suffered that much will be able to grow!!

Day 17 Sunday 29th March. No phone, no blogging, no news, no facebook. I listened to a CD! I took a recipe from a BOOK!

The sun was out, the birds were singing. I suggested to Bernat that we make a long recording of birds and him and Kira playing to send to his brother, he could have it on in the background while he’s dozing there. But Bernat just said “you don’t know my brother”. I honestly can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want recorded birdsong from a screened in hospital. But then I also still think Bernie Sanders has a chance.

I did attend an online pub quiz in the evening. Our team was from Kampala, London, York and Barcelona! The weird new world, with a few glitches and overall a painful listening experience. But I am blown away to see what people can do online. Before we started I was thinking about organising one myself, but now I’ve seen the technological, organisational and bandwidth levels you need to coordinate and deliver, I realise it is beyond me, for now. But it was inspirational to see what is possible.

I think the Brits, and anyone else I guess, will do a great job of getting drunk in front of screens and all those who want to, will be able to keep busy and avoid deep reflection on the crisis.

“Keep busy, carry on, let’s get back to normal as soon as possible” That is the exact opposite of my mantra.

We must find balance.

home-schooling : a beautiful day with no pressure, some reading and drawing, plant labelling, creative games together on a blanket in the sun, making lasagne. This was better than a “school” day!

home-activism 0 and loving being offline. The activism part of today was “catch and store energy” and “self-care”. I had 2 hrs completely to myself!

Read more

Days 1 – 11

Day 12 and 13

Day 14

Day 15 – Family hospitalisations, drama and cabin fever


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