The current situation in Spain is very serious. As in Italy, we have an aging population and are therefore being confronted with comparatively high mortality rates. The catastrophic development was furthered by the lack of qualified health personnel, protective material and hospital beds. This lack of preparation has led to the collapse of the intensive care units in hospitals and rising infections amongst hospital staff.
The issues are slowly being solved by more doctors and nurses being hired, masks and protective suits being bought, the self-production of these items being intensified and the adaptation of big spaces, such as stadiums, to compensate for the shortage of space in hospitals.
The restrictions implemented in Spain are really severe. We are called upon not to go out of our houses, only to go to the store, hospital, pharmacy or walk a dog, among other essential activities. The police is fining anyone who breaks the restrictions. When seen in the streets, we are required to justify ourselves, and face the ultimate penalty of being sent to jail. Madrid, which concentrates the majority of the infected people in Spain, has adopted really strong measures: people can only go out one by one, and receipts from stores must show a purchase of over 30 €, in order to prevent people from shoping too often.
These restrictions are really hard to follow, especially mentally. The elderly and people suffering from pre-existing mental disorders are suffering in particular. In addition, further problems are arising: abused women are stuck in their homes with their abusers, with calls to the emergency number soaring. These strong measures stand in contrast to the ones in other countries such as England, Poland or Germany, where one is still permitted to go out in to the street.
All non-essential economic activities have stopped.
We are really concerned about this situation and about the economic crisis that will follow, and we really hope that the European Union will not leave us alone.
Belén Matesanz, born 1995 in Madrid. Studied English Studies in Madrid and Bristol. She is studying a MA degree in Communication, translation and literature in Madrid and Warsaw.
What does Europe mean for me: A common frame for ideas, politics and economy. Facilitates the exchange of ideas and experiences.