We couldn´t start this blog post without saying a huge thanks to every one of our customers who have been in touch over the last few weeks to check that we are all ok! Thankfully we are all safe and well and feeling optimistic that things will improve around the world over the coming weeks and months.
It´s been a strange couple of months. Towards the middle of March it was becoming very clear that the Coronavirus situation was beginning to take a grip on Europe but little did we know during that meeting that within days Spain would be in Lockdown! We knew the situation was going to worsen and we knew that we may face a drop in trade but for the whole country to come to a halt right before Easter (a time of year when to be honest we rely on the huge tourism coming into the country) was a surprise because it all happened very fast!
As the weeks have gone on, we have lived literally day to day, waiting for news, waiting for updates and looking for light at the end of the tunnel. Looking back however, the continual decline in cases of this virus in Spain is a testimony to the fast and strict measures taken by the Spanish authorities and of course the way that the people have followed these rules.
Whilst we have been in lockdown, we have still been busy working (from home, most of us) looking after our customers, helping them to reorganise their trips and so on. It´s been a period when our values and goals to always be like family with our customers have really shone through as we have been receiving calls, emails and well wishes from so many which of course we are grateful for. In fact, we have spent a lot of time chatting to our customers, especially the regulars over the last few weeks and everyone wants to know how things really are in Spain, compared to what you see on the news.
Truthfully, the people of Spain have very much come together in the last few weeks and whilst lockdown has been frustrating for almost everyone and of course worrying in so many ways, we have all adapted to life and it´s great to see the decline in infections and of course sad deaths here in Spain.
The first few days were a bit of a panic for most and supermarket shelves ran dry very quickly but when people realised that there would be food supplies and that nobody would be stranded and unable to buy the essentials, things calmed down and after the first few days of lockdown, shops were always full with supplies plentiful. People soon learned the importance of social distancing and followed the guidance on hygiene, social distancing and staying safe.
Spain is such a social country and people need their friends and families. Spanish families generally get together regularly, share responsibilities in the care and upbringing of kids and thrive on social life. So, for the situation to change overnight and no social meetings to be allowed has of course been very difficult for most of us. In Spain too, it´s worth keeping in mind that the majority of people live in flats rather than houses with gardens so those who have kids have really had to stay strong to get through this confinement. The Spanish Government have at least been clear and precise in their instructions and maintained a generally constant approach which has now really begun to reap the rewards.
Spain recently announced their plan to getting back to “the new normal” and most of the country has now entered into the 1st phase of this with bars and shops opening (albeit with some restrictions) and it looks like the rest of the country will be following suit very soon. With spring now upon us and the sun shining, it will be wonderful when we are all able to enjoy beaches or gatherings with our family and friends.
Of course, we owe unmeasurable gratitude to the heroes of this whole situation – The medical staff who have worked tirelessly and selflessly to care for us, the Police who have protected us and kept us safe, ensuring that everyone follows the rules whilst also working hard to keep all of our chins up (everyone has been looking forward to their passing through the streets flashing their lights and sirens to salute people each evening), and of course all of those who have worked through – the key workers – those in supermarkets, supply chains, delivery drivers (the list goes on and on) – people who have put themselves on the front line to keep us all safe, fed, watered and cared for.
We are all hoping that soon some sort of normality will resume and we are looking forward to much to see all of our regular clients as well as welcoming new ones. If you do have concerns about coming to Spain this year when things settle down, try to feel some reassurance that although things may be a little different to normal, the measures in Spain are there to keep us safe and here at Drivalia we are working super hard to prepare for the summer and to welcome you all.
Stay positive wherever you are. There is light at the end of the tunnel and the light is getting closer!