2 weeks of lockdown has been done. 14 long days at home doing all the jobs we never wanted to do in the first place. Trying to keep busy, stopping the kids from fighting while looking longingly outside and planning that 1st day back to normality.
It’s not been easy and the cracks are starting to show. Mums with kids in small apartments are getting restless. Dogs are getting itchy feet. The frenetic elated overreaction to the news that the limit on car occupants had been amended from 1 per vehicle to 1 per row showed how much these isolation measures are hurting.
We are half way through an initial 30 day lockdown and now Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez has announced that for the next 2 weeks all non-essential workers must also stay at home decreasing movement even further. It was a bit mystifying watching the workmen on construction sites chatting and carrying on as usual while the rest of us were confined to quarters. Not any more as Spain goes into full lockdown.
Essential workers by definition are those employed in the following sectors: food, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, vets, opticians, hygiene products, press, fuel, tobacco, IT and telecommunications, pet food, internet vendors and dry cleaners. That’s your lot. Everyone else must stay at home unless it’s a justified outing.
If the experts are to be believed then Ibiza will hit peak contagion numbers next weekend. After that the curve should hopefully go on a downward trajectory. Let’s pray this is correct and also be thankful that compared to other places we have had it relatively easy so far.
This is a big test for the island. Not just to get through the month of self isolating but a big test on its economy with the summer looming. The usual winter anxiety has now been replaced with the stress of a summer that will start late in a best case scenario and might not even start at all in the worst.
Ibiza relies on tourism and without the connectivity of the airlines it will be cut off from the paying public. Even if the virus passes earlier than expected we are still beholden to when there’s a full flying program up and running again.
Another concern is that if the low cost carriers can’t survive this crisis and airlines become nationalised again, like Alitalia has been, then the flight market might go back to the bad old days of low availability and high prices making Ibiza a playground only for the rich.
The worst thing, of course, is that nobody knows. We don’t know when the virus will pass. We don’t know when Ibiza and and the world will get back on its feet again and we don’t know what effect it will have on our lives.
Ibiza will recover. it’s natural beauty, it’s close proximity to hundreds of million of Europeans and its hard earned reputation means that when we do come out the other side then business will carry on but the business might be different from before and the challenge will be to realign yourself and meet it head on.
Lockdown and the Covid19 crisis has been a big test but I suspect the biggest test that the White Isle has ever had to face in its modern history is still yet to come.