Spain was the springboard for World Book Day, at the initiative of Vicente Clavel Andrés who proposed designating a Spanish Book Day to honor Miguel de Cervantes, author of the world’s first modern novel, Don Quixote de La Mancha. It took decades but in the end UNESCO took up the gauntlet.
“Restrictions”: it is the regional government of Madrid’s euphemism for partial lockdown, or “selective confinement” as the Deputy Counselor of Health and the COVID Plan had blurted out. Demonstrations in various parts of the region are being held, protesting against what they see as drawing a dividing line between the north and south -- rich and poor -- of Madrid. In truth, "selective confinement" is not exclusive to Madrid these days. Similar measures are being applied in some places in Spain.
On 2 May, the Government of Spain has given us back a small fraction of our pre-COVID19 freedom. We were let out of our homes for a few hours. It was the beginning of the desescalada. The beginning of something that we don’t know for sure what. But it’s something that feels precious because somehow it smacks of rebirth. In the middle of all the uncertainty, there was one thing unequivocal: a deep sense of gratitude. We wouldn’t be here now, out on our first true taste of sunshine and the soft breeze of spring, without the healthcare workers who have put their own lives on the line so we could live. Their heroism is breathtaking. We’ve lived by the rules so that we all could live even though some of us hadn’t been able to make it. And we grieve for them.