Many are acting as though the pandemic is indeed 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 are everywhere
by Rose Maramba
Photos: People in the Temple of Debod Park in Madrid/R. Maramba
Four out of every five citizens and residents of Spain are fully vaccinated. Ninety-five percent of the vulnerable population has been vaxxed. Despite the lack of unequivocal indication from the Spanish Health authorities, the people are no longer waiting for herd immunity to be achieved as the concept has become untenable. The country’s experts are saying it will be impossible to completely eradicate the COVID-19 virus which has the bad habit of mutating into different variants.
Outbreaks will happen and even the vaccinated people will get infected. But the spread of the accursed virus will slow down to a manageable degree. Less and milder infections. The population will cope. They will live with it. COVID-19 will become just another infectious disease like the flu.
Even Pfizer’s CEO, Albert Bourla, is saying that “within a year I think we will be able to come back to normal life.” But he cautions that we may need annual COVID shots. Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel says the same thing about regaining normal life.
If Spain has reached the point where it could breathe easy after months and months of fear, nightmare and despair, it obviously is because of the very commendable way vaccination has been carried out once the vaccines have been made available to the country by the European Union, and how the people have responded so positively to it. And then of course there’s what Amos Garcia, President of the Asociación Española de Vacunología (Spanish Vaccinology Association), calls the brillante ejercicio de responsabilidad (brilliant exercise of responsibility) by the citizenry during the pandemic: conscientious use of face mask, social distancing, etc.
Many are acting as though the pandemic is indeed behind us. The attitude is infectious! There’s relief in the air. People, both the old but most especially the young are letting off steam in a typically Spanish way: boisterous laughter in the bars’ terraces, in the parks, the plazas. . . And that laughter is becoming less and less defiant, more and more natural, the sound of the joy of being alive. People are beginning to flock to the cinema. The signs of a return to the old times are everywhere.
While there are increasingly fewer people wearing face masks outdoors, there are still those who do. Some still seek out the hydroalcoholic gel dispensers when entering shops even though they’re now a vanishing species. A relic of a terrible recent past people need to forget. But whatever they do, people are set to leave the pandemic behind them. They deserve the freedom from worry about the pandemic. The data from the Ministry of Health tell them the mortality rate is down down down.
But it’s foolhardy to throw all caution the wind. The virus is still there though down to the level of the flu or soon to be.
Quote mark/Oakus53, CC BY-SA4.0
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