FOOD markets, getting merry with friends and family and enjoying the marvellous parades, that is what Christmas in Spain is all about – and that’s what’s at stake over the coming weeks.
As Andalucia is set to renew, toughen or loosen its current coronavirus restrictions this Sunday, I say keep them as they are for at least another two weeks.
If it means we will get to enjoy at least some of the xmas traditions this year – probably not the parades – then surely it’s worth it.
Another two weeks could mean we can travel to see our friends and family in other municipalities and regions.
But a ‘re-opening’ at Christmas would not only be joyous on a personal level, but the economy would receive a much-needed boost.
Restaurants and bars would hopefully be allowed to open later, giving them a lifeline after spending many months closed or being forced to close at 6pm for the past week or so.
People would be permitted to shop longer, with Christmas presents being a top priority, giving independent shops a chance against giants like Amazon.
While the past two weeks haven’t been easy, things could be a whole lot worse.
We are still permitted to play some sports until just before 10pm.
We are still allowed out on the streets until 10pm and to enjoy eating out until 6pm.
We can go for walks, a jog or cycle until the curfew begins too.
Lest we forget the dark days of the first wave, when our only solace was the weekly trip to Mercadona or the pharmacy.
If the figures are anything to go by so far this week, it is clear that there is a strong sign that the infection rate is falling.
For two days in a row now, more people have overcome the virus in the region than caught it.
It’s a positive sign, but if the measures were to be lifted in just a few days time, that work would likely be undone.
Meanwhile, the hospital numbers have yet to catch up. Today was the second deadliest day of the pandemic in Andalucia. It’s clear that the health system still needs more time to overcome the influx of patients it has seen during this second wave.
Another two weeks of depleting infection rates will surely help that cause.