In The Lecrin Valley we are a week into the lockdown and it feels like a lifetime ago that we could leave the house to socialise, go for a run, cycle or climb a mountain, to meet friends for a stroll or a drink and tapas in the local pub and chat about the important and not so important things in life.
It seems we have entered a new reality, and it’s almost frightening how quickly we adapt…How strange it seems to see people shaking hands on TV, and seeing footage of other countries not yet in lockdown, to see people standing close together and even wining and dining!
So how is life in the Lecrin Valley these days?
Well thankfully, for us, it’s really not that bad at all in the grand scheme of things. The measures that have been taken feel more like physical distancing than social distancing, because our community spirit is stronger than ever.
While most tourists headed home when they could, and the hotels have closed, people in some companies, like mine, are still working, just behind closed doors, and unless you need to shop for food or medicines you have to stay home.
Ironically, in the meantime, spring has sprung and with the orange trees in full blossom, the valley is filled with the sweet scent of Azahar (orange blossom).
I feel we are well taken care off, the town hall (Ayuntamiento) arranged to sanitise the streets and public spaces in all the villages, there are local phone numbers in all villages for people who need help with shopping or to get medication and there is another phone number if you think you may have caught the virus yourself (900 400 061).
There is a drawing contest for the younger children and on the several village Facebook groups, people have been sharing photos to show what they have been up to and what they have created. It seems that many of us have started baking and cooking and doing crafts, while others share some of the many funny jokes that have been circulating to keep our spirits up.
A lot of people have been offering their help to anyone who may need it and at 8 o’clock every night we applaud all the people out there keeping us safe, the Spanish health service, the police, the grocery stores, the cleaning staff, etc. We open our windows, stand on the balcony or in the garden and applaud and it feels good – we are not alone, we are still a community and stand strong until better times arrive.
I am using my time to keep in touch with clients and friends by email and phone and improving the online presentations of our houses for sale.
I’d be lying if I said I’m not worried about my business – there are many small businesses who will find this time incredibly hard – but I feel confident we will get through this because, on the upside, I think that by the number of emails we have been receiving with requests for information about the area and the houses for sale, it is fair to assume that the current crisis has not yet affected people’s dreams to own a property in our beautiful valley.
Since we currently have even more time than usual to answer and chat, I’d say, ‘please keep your requests coming, folks!’
On a more personal and practical level, if any of you living here have any questions about what you can and can’t do under the lockdown measures, please feel free to contact me. I’d be more than happy to help with anything – whether that be translations, helping you with news updates you didn’t receive or didn’t quite understand due to the language barrier or indeed if you need help to get in touch with the authorities. Whatever the reason, please feel free to call me on +34 678 419 732.
Stay safe everyone and take good care of each other, we will get through this together.