Monday 13 April 2020

Covid-19 Diaries - Lockdown Day 30 - Cardboard Joy

"Spain relaxes lockdown..." say the international papers. 

Have we?

Gosh, that sounds nice. We still can't go outside for a walk, though. More importantly, I still can't walk the toddler. I see people in the UK posting pictures of lush green parks and river scenes and I think, Whaaat? Lockdown is easy if you can go out for walks!  But I know it's not easy. I know mostly families are cooped up. Some more cooped than others.

I was reading an article in El Pais about entire families confined to a bedroom. A mother with a 2 and a 4 year old in a bedroom for thirty days. A mother, father, and two preteen kids sharing one room with a bunk bed. It made me cry. The worst bit is that even after lockdown they will still be living in one bedroom...

Meanwhile, all across the island there are luxury villas lying empty, because we live in a painfully unequal world. Possibly the construction workers allowed back to work today, despite uncertainty about how on earth they'll keep a coronavirus safety distance between them, are building more fabulous dwellings for people who may or may not spend any time in them.

Never mind about the rich. How much would I sacrifice for a more equal world? Would I give up my terrace during lockdown for another family? I like to think so. In the end, we can't expect people to do what we wouldn't. We all have to take some responsibility for the world we live in.   

Do I sound grumpy? I probably need to be walked more often. In fact I did go out today. My second outing in four weeks. I went to the chemist. I saw three police cars in the space of three minutes. The chemist was closed, so I walked back worried that I would be stopped and I would have no receipt to prove my visit.

The highlight of my day came in the afternoon after a few hours at my desk. I walked into the living room to discover my husband had made our toddler a guitar out of cardboard. He has rediscovered his love of guitar playing during lockdown and Sol loves it. She was so excited she was getting her own guitar that she broke into a highly expressive and unintelligible babble, gesturing with her hands, and making certain I understood how brilliant it all was. 

It was wonderful to witness. I sat down on the floor beside her and she gave me a big hug and I thought I'm never buying a plastic toy again...

I also thought, I have the greatest lockdown team ever. This is going to be alright. 

One day we will be able to walk around the block and we will love every minute of it. Until then we will make cardboard instruments and deconstruct cardboard faces and paint empty toilet rolls, and bury treasure in tubs of sand and sing and dance and write and create and feel gratitude for the freedom of our minds to imagine and muster a surprisingly rich life within the confines of four walls.    

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