What’s going on in Europe and particularly in Spain? We’ll bring you the news in this section.
We don’t know about other countries but in Spain there's a veritable boom in the wedding industry right now. That's a stark contrast to, say, March-April 2020 when 17,000 weddings had been postponed or canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, This year, many couples refuse to wait any longer to say “I do”!
No Spaniard feels guilty about taking a snooze. You’ll see many a parked car from which a lone sleeper dangles out his feet. They nod in the subways, in the parks, in lobbies and stairways. Not only are they guilt-free, they don’t even worry about getting mugged. Perhaps there’s a built-in respect on the part of a Spaniard mugger toward a restful would-be victim. The mugger would probably feel guilty!
No doubt the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting people’s mental health. Particularly hard hit, according to the World Health Organization, are health and other frontline workers, people living alone, students, and those with pre-existing mental health conditions. But there are no specific groups that get targeted by the malaise. Fear, anxiety and insecurity are our constant companions early on in the pandemic, and at this late stage. AND beyond. Our mental health has been played havoc with. To make the bad situation worse, services for mental, neurological and substance-use disorders have been severely disrupted.
The Carnival left town. The cowboys and cowgirls loaded up their horses in their horse trailers and headed for other Rodeos around the country and Canada. The Indian Village was taken down and the tribes returned to their reservations. The most exciting event was the Indian bareback relay race. . .But all the hustle and bustle disappeared the day after closing, with Main St. open again to traffic and the horse pooh cleaned up as if it had never been there.
The Fiesta Nacional is, as the name denotes, an annual celebration across Spain of a huge Spanish legacy that gave the world – the New World – a single (Spanish) denominator for the cultures in the vast Americas and brought the region under one dominant language. It set off the Golden Age of exploration and colonization, catapulting Spain as the first-ever world power. But couching it in today’s politically acceptable lingo, the Fiesta Nacional is touted as celebrating Spain’s union and brotherhood with the international community.
Many are acting as though the pandemic is now behind us. The attitude is infectious! The old, but most especially the young, are letting off steam in a typically Spanish way: laughter in the bars’ terraces, in the parks, the plazas. . . The sound of the joy of being alive. The signs of the returning old times.
Almost 220,000 migrants have been apprehended at the US southern border from July 2021. Biden reversed Trump’s “stay in Mexico” policy and ended the construction of a border wall. Yet he says that the border is not open. Tell that to the thousands of migrants who collect at the border waiting for their chance to enter the US come what may. There has to be a better way.
“Please don’t bury my bananas” is the collective prayer of the planters on La Palma where the Cumbre Vieja volcano is still spewing molten lava that devours houses, schools and banana fields as it plows its sinister way down to the Atlantic. It isn’t just that the lava buries everything that gets in its way. The ashes not only settle on the fruit but on whole plants and kill them off. Who can foretell what measly number of bananas would be harvested now, in view of the eruption? And to think that over 10,000 of the island’s 85,000 population depend on banana employment!
The Cumbre Vieja volcano in La Palma, one of the most active volcanos in Spain's Canary Islands, has been erupting since 19 September 2021. By 20 September around two hundred houses have been destroyed by the lava. The alert remains at the highest level—red. The Bishop of Tenerife has celebrated a Mass at the Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de las Nieves in La Palma to pray for the end of the eruption.