Week Two.



Yesterday, in the middle of a very quiet, cloudy, and long afternoon, we learned our lockdown will extend until mid-April.

I think we all knew it was coming:  just about everybody in Spain customarily goes on vacation for Semana Santa, the week before Easter.  And the last thing this country needs at this point is tens of thousands of people on the move, having fun, getting close, exchanging money.

So here we will sit for a while longer.

Will spring have come, and gone, by mid-April?  Will life ever feel the same as it did, pre-lockdown?

Last night, we headed out to the terrace for the Nightly Clap, which  has become an homage not just to the health care workers but also to the food deliverers, the taxi drivers, the police — to anyone who is out there providing a service during this crisis.  An empty city bus trundled past as we clapped, the driver laying on the horn all the way up the long wide avenue a block away.  A delivery person for Glovo,  our version of Uber Eats, rang his bicycle bell as he peddled slowly along.

It seemed to me like fewer neighbors came to their windows last night, as if the news of the extension had dampened their enthusiasm for the whole enterprise.

I wish Spanish were my native language, and that my teen daughters didn’t find every single thing I do quite so embarrassing.

Hang in there, Madrid, I’d shout to my neighbors, peering out over the darkened rooftops.  Keep the faith.  Come summer, we’ll meet in the sidewalk cafes again, surely.