SPAIN, Paz Leiva •
People are worth much more than their rulers, even if they knew how to rule, which is a lot to assume. I say this because of what we have been living in Spain since the existence of the coronavirus was known. —
We are now eight days into our confinement. Some of us have been at home longer than that because of a doctor’s prescription. My ear doctor, who knew of the seriousness of what was to come, left me in seclusion two weeks ago.
The strangest thing about the situation was to see my schedule empty, always full of appointments, jobs, chores and commitments. Our lives suddenly found themselves empty. Now what do I do?
Now what do I do?
One of the first things we did was set up a teleworking station for my husband. The bank he works at left offices open, with minimal services. Some of them had to be closed, because of infected employees.
The pace of the house changed; it is very different from what happened when the girls were small and my studio occupied half of the house. To begin with, there are no girls now: they are mothers. Thank God they are all well and we contacted them by video call. That way, we can see that they look good.
We like being at home; it’s not a sacrifice to stay. The bad thing is when the weekend comes and no children, grandchildren or friends come.
Our schedule has been filled up again
Our agenda has been filled up again: morning prayer together (this is new), visit to the Shrine of Pozuelo, Mass in the Original Shrine, rosary with the League of Families, Mass in the Shrine of Serrano; sending messages of encouragement to those who are alone, sending short prayers to those who have prayed again; calling the neighbors, in case they need something… At 8 p.m., go to the windows and cheer to those who work in hospitals. Evening prayer, reading, blessing of Father José María… Last night we had a videoconference with our course brothers, including gin and tonic.
All of this fills a spiritual and natural schedule, which is on the way to resemble that of Joseph Engling. We have a strange feeling of being on Lent retreat (or quarantine), but communicating with those who are far away.
Furthermore, we have manual work to do and to knead the bread every other day (I remember our friend Karin Leibold; surely our bread is not as good).
We went shopping and they brought our order home. We have enough to live on for several days and we didn’t exaggerate by buying. We didn’t buy any toilet paper or beer in excess.
But we can take advantage of it. There are things that will never be the same again (or so I hope).
I’m starting to think that “gray hair is beautiful”, because I won’t be able to go to the hairdresser’s once a month (which I would do) and take advantage of the fact that the manicurist does her job, which looks better than at home.
We miss going out for a walk. We live in a high building. It is forbidden to stay in the common areas in groups, but one by one you can go up and down stairs… and we have a lot of floors.
Marital dialogue has increased and improved, and the “full silences”, too.
Our prayer has become deeper and also more fun, more joyful.
The orchid has blossomed again and we admire it more than ever.
And the Priest of the church of The Christ of the Victory blesses the neighborhood from the tower of the church with the Holy Sacrament.
We review those who suffer daily, who are many. We thank those who take care of us. We obey some orders that, unfortunately, have arrived late. We will try not to get infected, so as not to increase the stress in the hospitals. Now they are calling the medical students of the last years, because the hospitals are overflowing. The Spanish people are turning out in solidarity with each other. You only have to hear the applause at eight o’clock at night and see the police and ambulances sounding their sirens as a tribute to the health workers.
The nurses of Leon work protecting themselves with garbage bags and diving glasses, and convents, industries and individuals make masks, because here all the sanitary material is scarce.
And the priest of the Christ of the Victory blesses the neighborhood from the tower of the church with the Holy Sacrament.
Everything in spite of the politicians; because Christ has gone out to the streets before the processions of the Holy Week, dressed as a sanitary, police, fireman, supermarket stock boy, pharmacist… and so many others. Thank you for being there.
Original: Spanish 22.03.20. Translated by: María Aragón, Monterrey, México