18 March 2020 -
Hi there, yep, we're still here making ceramics - Earth still spinning. No rain but cloudy, I'd really like to see some Spanish sunshine right about now.
So finally getting back to a routine that does not involve reading news and helping folks get food and their lives sorted out.
So cases are still going up, and the government expects the daily volume will continue to increase for about two weeks. Then, if all goes well, the daily increase of cases will begin to diminish. I won't do any projections here, do the math yourselves if you wish. I'm just trying to provide information that is fact based rather than any "projections" or "scenarios".
So, we're over 11,000 infected, up about 20% from yesterday and just short of 500 deaths (491). Two facts to note.
One, as I understand Catalunya did not update their numbers in the reported numbers for today. Catalunya has 7.5 million people and is the second most affected area in Spain.
Two, Spain stopped testing cases of folks with "light" symptoms a few days ago, as the testing system was getting too busy. They announced today they are now getting enough capacity up to begin testing again in two or three days.
The government has announced a plan to stop mortgage payments for folks affected and have stopped the turning off of gas, electric or water services for non-payment.
I said "carefully" in the title above because life has changed. Some anecdotes and items to think about:
- The military is deployed or deploying in 28 cities in Spain.
- The number of patients in ICU multiplied 40x in the last ten days. This forces hospitals to prepare contingency plans in the face of the avalanche of serious cases that await them. Please refer to the number of new cases daily above, subtract about 10 days of infections and you see the picture. They anticipate going from 400 to 1,000 by the weekend.
- Right now folks are getting treatment as there are beds available. To put this in perspective Google: Number of ICU beds in Spain. Basically think of any way you can help your local friends that are in the medical profession. Might want to do the same search with "your country" to get some perspective.
- Yesterday at 9am our local clinic called and cancelled the doctors appointments both Wendy and I had on Monday and Wednesday this week.
- Any medical or nursing student with basic training is being deployed to hospitals. All people in Spain that have accredited medical credentials in another country and are waiting approval to work in Spain can now temporarily work by registering with the government.
- Speaking with our one friend who is pregnant. She has been informed that she will not be giving birth in a hospital, she will be birth with a midwife at home. She is due mid-May.
So that perspective thing. Five days ago, the above items were not going on.
At home, I recommend some strategic thinking. Start planning the household chores in your favor. It would be very smart planning to get home and announce:
"Until this virus situation goes away, I'm going to step up and help by walking the dog twice a day every day and in addition I'll take the garbage out."
Depending where you live these may be the only times you step out of your flat for a little while.
Let's hope for some nice Spanish sunshine tomorrow. We'll be here making ceramics.