Chronicles of the Virus Day 7

Some of these free virtual tours might be hazardous for your cabin fever.

I did a small visit to the Hermitage last night, and returned this morning before I began some chores. It was not enough. I want to go there. NOW. Oh, to traipse those inlaid wood floors, gaze upon gold and crystal chandeliers, be blown away by the immensity and richness of each hall, contemplate up close each objet d'art, and to think upon those that walked through those same rooms shortly after they were built, appraising the work of hired craftsmen! 

Fine, so make plans after all this is over. Not so fast. It cost me blood, sweat, and tears to gather enough money to spend five days in Cantabria last September, to celebrate our anniversary there. Even so, we had to dip into the month's money. I haven't checked, but it would take probably three thousand euros for a trip to Saint Petersburg, the lion's share going to airfare and hotel. 

Yes, the cheapest way to go would be by car. But it would be the most expensive in terms of time and, possibly, insurance. It would take a few days to cross all of Europe (we're separated from the French border by around eight hours). And I have no wish to drive in Russia. Russian drivers outstrip Boston and Spanish drivers at their insouciance behind the wheel. Our insurance company won't like us for taking that risk. Nor would our bones.  

So, I'll have to check out other things during this quarantine.

One of them will not be driving down to the beach. In other times, for many this would have been a four day weekend. On such a long weekend many go for drives to the mountains or the seaside. Idiots in Valencia, Barcelona, Madrid, and Bilbao tried to do just that. I think that part of what the government is spending to combat the pandemia will be collected through fines imposed on stupid people. There was even a disco in a Madrid hotel that had to be forcefully closed down because someone thought it was a good idea to give a party. 

And this despite the growing desperation in Madrid hospitals. Madrid is one of the hardest hit regions and is beginning to experience ethical conundrums, even though, officially, it is not yet at the breaking point. The official number of infected is over twenty thousand at the moment, but there isn't widespread testing. So, there are probably three or four times that number, mostly mild cases. But those mild cases are infecting people who might wind up in overwhelmed ICU's. And people just don't get it.

Then there are the people who do get it. Like the guy swimming in his hallway. On a skateboard. Or the guy, wearing a Batman costume, triumphantly waving a package of toilet paper as he returns home. Then there's the Michael Jackson copy, dressed in a hazmat suit, goggles and all, dancing in an empty square after nightfall. 

We haven't got that in our village, but our daughter in Santiago is getting to know the neighbors by hanging out at her window. She also has a friend from her Bachillerato days who lives in a building behind her. They've exchanged pleasantries. Here, we continue with the spring planting, dealing with not being able to get certain seedlings or products, and just trying to get by day by day. And making castles in the air about travelling, once we can.

Life continues.



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