The Spanish government has recently announced plans to bring the country back to a “new normal” in the space of eight weeks, with the Canaries and Lanzarote leading the way. The first reaction to this is surely a huge sigh of relief. The last seven weeks have been a hugely worrying time, and many simply want the certainty of knowing when it might end. Now, finally, we have that. It may change depending on the development of the virus, of course, but it’s a plan.
Getting the island back to any kind of normality isn’t going to be easy. Thousands of people have suffered terribly during the lockdown, which has highlighted poverty and social exclusion; thousands more are watching their jobs and businesses under serious threat while their savings dwindle, and the reliance of the islands on tourism means many of us are not likely to be in the conditions to really start getting back on our feet again until flights recommence.
The situation reminds me of what an AA member once told about his first day of being sober. “It’s like coming out of your cellar after a hurricane,” he said. “Everything is wrecked and damaged, but the important thing is: it’s over.” And while there may be difficult times ahead, I think most of us are very conscious that there could be far worse places to spend them. May is always a gorgeous month on Lanzarote, and last month’s sprinkling of rain should help to make it even more so.
Some precious pleasures have already been grasped gratefully – children can now go out in the open air, and many parents will never forget their joy at that first outing. More will arrive – I personally can’t wait to get into the sea and find out what the fishes have been up to.
But let’s be sure to do this together. Let lockdown be a tight fist that slowly unclenches to offer thousands of willing, helping hands; hands that are ready to work, to give and receive and perhaps, in time, to hold those we’ve missed for so long.
Enjoy the magazine, Shaun.