When the sun goes down after the day’s ration of applause, is when the real confinement begins. The streets stay deserted, lights come on in the windows, and an unheard-of silence takes over Barcelona.

By Lorna Espinoza

Havana Times — I’m a feminist from Matagalpa, Nicaragua who has lived in Catalonia, close to Barcelona, for the past fourteen years in a country that has adopted me. I have two children, seven and eighteen years old. I’m married, self-employed, and since March 13th we are living isolated at home.

We heard that China was closed. At the same time, Lombardy, in Italy, was reporting hundreds of positive cases of Covid-19. In Spain we knew how serious this grave situation was, but we carried on with normal life as if it would not touch us until we saw it arrive. At the beginning there were moments of collective hysteria.

The Chinese businesspeople confined themselves when they saw authorities weren’t taking preventive measures. There was a double discourse about them, and it was said they had brought the sickness and were going to infect us, generating xenophobia.

In Catalonia, on March 13th, schools were closed for fifteen days, and the next day the Spanish authorities ordered the closure of bars, restaurants, cinemas, ski resorts, recreation centers, shopping malls, and all shops except those dedicated to the sale of food or essential goods like pharmacies.

With my seven-year-old son, the first thing we try is explaining to him the significance of staying at home. It’s important that he understands he is part of this collective responsibility, and he took it pretty well. He has given us life lessons, resisting better than we do. They are brave little ones, even with tantrums, and his anecdotes make the quarantine happier.

The negative side is that the quarantine is weighing on my two children. The oldest believes that it won’t affect him, which converted it into a family battle, but he’s over it! The hardest thing is to see on the news how many people have been infected, the deaths, and to know it could get worse, or that people we know die or are hospitalized. When they told us the lockdown would last fifteen days we were a little incredulous, but when they said it would go on for another fifteen, we didn’t say anything.

Lorna Espinoza

Since the first week we structured the days so the littlest one would have discipline at home: homework in the morning, a little TV, and games in the afternoon. The games are amazing, they have made us value his creativity.

The positive will stay with me: children’s games that I pulled out of my trunk of memories, the interactions from the balcony with the neighbors who I didn’t know until now. We are people who need to socialize, and we do it every day at 8 p.m. when we come out to applaud in support of those who are working as caregivers during Covid-19.

We dance, we cheer each other up, we try to exercise, typical meals, or a vermouth with snacks, we initiate chats among friends, classmates, with family.

Although there are good days, there are also tough ones, the kids need to run, shout, get angry, they get fed up, they get mad, they are irritable a lot of days, it’s understandable. You have to keep calm. Sometimes we don’t realize that our bodies are sending us messages. It’s good to connect, even inside this quarantine.

Health is in our hands. In Nicaragua, the non-government of Daniel Ortega continues to condemn people to death, which is why it’s important to pay attention to security measures: social distancing, we have to fight together against Covid-19.

Nicaragua has to flower. Free and feminist.


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