SPAIN entered April with the distinct prospect of the State of Emergency – or should I say Alarm, which is Level 1 – continuing throughout the month. On the basis of the past two weeks I don’t know what Level 3 is but am pretty sure that resembles the game ‘Statues’ from my 70s childhood. You have to stand frozen on the spot until the State of Emergency is lifted. Otherwise the forces of law and order have the power to fine/detain/blast you with water canon/all of the previous.

With the country in lockdown I counted my blessings for a number of reasons. Firstly because of the beautiful house that I live in, surrounded by land and overlooking a lake. Even the friendly Policia Locales from the village (there are four and you don’t dial an emergency number, you dial their mobile) agreed that if you had to sit out the lockdown, the Casita was a rather splendid place to be.

As someone who spends most of their time pottering around, reading trivia, talking to myself, playing obscure music and staring vacantly into the middle distance – and that’s just on air at the radio station – the lockdown hasn’t really made that much difference to me. The meltdown reaction to many people on social media raised a wry smile but for bookworms, gamers, model makers and the like, the lockdown has been geek heaven. On a purely selfish note, on the occasions that I have had to sally forth from the Casita, the road has been blissfully free from cyclists, which, as you know by now, are the bane of my life.

I was thinking that this whole coronavirus malarkey was something of a walk in the park that wouldn’t really affect me. And then one of my best friends posted a shocking photograph that his wife had taken. Diagnosed with COVID-19, he experienced chest pains and paramedics rushed to his house at 5am. He told me later that it felt like he had been “hit by the house”. I’m both pleased and relieved to report that he is on the road to recovery. But please, wash your hands, self isolate and stay in the f***king house!

Giles Column
SHOCKING: Diagnosed with COVID-19
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