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COVID lockdown

The Costa Brava, like the rest of Spain and Catalonia is currently on lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This means that individuals are confined to home except for journeys that are necessary - so shopping and work. Schools shut last week. Restaurants and bars are shut, with police checks ensuring compliance with the rules.

Although taking the dog for a walk is allowed, general walking or just being out and about is not allowed - so no going to the beach or general hikes. The police will ask for a valid justification as to why you are out if they see you.

As a result the place feels eeriely empty. Supermarkets are working, but the local Mercadona has put down strips on the floor to stop people queuing too close together. When I visited, the shop was pretty empty of people, with half of people wearing a facemask, and many wearing gloves - the shop's own disposable gloves for handling bread or fruit were being used to prevent touching other products too.

Supermarkets are being replenished though. The meat and fresh fruit was all back in stock, and it was the tins and stored product that was less easy to find. Fresh milk wasn't available, but UHT was back in bulk. The lower number of people meant fresh produce wasn't selling fast enough. Strawberries, currently just coming into season in Spain, were being sold on offer. As things stabilise a bit, it's clear there was no major need for panic buying while all the supply chains still work.

The local pharmacy is operating through its front door - having made a screen and window so customers can't go in, but instead get served at the makeshift window.

Some work is being done and there are vans on the roads visible from where we are, but some factories and plants have closed. The building works that we can see from our window seem to have stopped. We're too far from the centre of town to know what's going on in the town, but pictures on TV and webcams show places empty and vacated.

Schools are sending work out for children via email. It's not great, but at least it gives something to do. I think we would struggle if we had to be in a flat and unable for the children to go out - at least we have a garden for fresh air.

Currently there is no cluster of cases around here, but everyone is taking precautions. The close down led to people coming up from Barcelona, so it will take a while to see if they also brought it up with them.

However, for the time being, like everyone else, our world is what we can see from our four walls. Wishing we could get out, but knowing we mustn't.

Update week 1

On our second supermarket trip, preserved foods (tins etc) were harder to find and as a result shelves felt a little emptier. For some reason all the ice cream and chocolate had gone. Fresh meat and fruit were still easily available, with the fresh fish counter still open.

Keeping in house will have an effect on fitness, so we're trying some things to keep moving with a bit of air and vitamin D from the sun which are supposed to be good for the immune system. We've got the garden games out for a bit of physical activity, jogging around the house, a bit of badminton, steps, skipping rope etc.

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