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Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain

Random thoughts from a Brit in the North West. Sometimes serious, sometimes not. Quite often curmudgeonly.

Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 23 September 2020
23 September 2020 @ 09:58

Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.  

- Christopher Howse: 'A Pilgrim in Spain'* 

Covid 19    

Evidence is mounting that Sweden has beaten the coronavirus epidemic with herd immunity rather than lockdowns. Its infection rate has remained low and stable at a time when other European countries are facing a strong resurgence.  

Sweden, which didn't implement stringent lockdown measures this spring, has a rate of just 28 for every 100,000. In Britain there are 69 cases(x 2.5) per 100,000. In France, the rate is almost 7 times higher than Sweden's. In Spain, it's 10 times. Both of these countries implemented strict lockdowns. 

A Swedish expert in the spread of the virus, has concluded that Sweden might be beating the pandemic. Note the 'might': No one wants to be definitive just yet . . .  Others warn that it is too early to declare a Swedish victory over the virus. I don’t think it can already be ruled out that Sweden will also have a flare-up, said a professor of virology at Aarhus University.

Living La Vida Loca in Spain and Galicia  

Here's Richard Ford on something I've cited several times over the years - Localism: From the earliest period down to the present all observers have been struck with this as a salient feature in the character of the Iberians, who never would amalgamate; never would, as Strabo said, put their shields together; never would sacrifice their own local private interest for the general good.

Right on cue . . . After months of mutual recriminations between the left.of-centre central government and the right-of-centre PP regional government, the prime minister and Madrid’s leader have agreed to co-operate over the capital’s spiralling crisis. Better late than never? It reminds me of this damning comment on 19th century Spain from Ford: It has required the utmost ingenuity and bad government of man to neutralise the prodigality of advantages which Providence has lavished on this highly-favoured land, and which, while under the dominion of the Romans and Moors, resembled an Eden.

BTW . . . After more reading, I have to revise yesterday's comment. It's at least 2 refrains a page from Ford. Here’s just one from last night, which I think - unlike most of them - is still in use: Aunque la mona se vista de seda, mona se queda. A monkey dressed in silk is still a monkey.

As Spain faces a very uncertain future, here's a problem which might be considered nice to have.    

Pontevedra has a new-ish food hall above the wonderful fish and seafood stalls of our market. I get the impression it's not yet terribly successful. So I wasn't surprised to read that its now does deliveries and that you can order on the net. Of course, Covid has been - and remains - a factor.

María's Fallback Diary: Day 9   

The UK

At the height of the pandemic, fear-mongering ruled the waves. Now it’s bewilderment [at government inconsistency, illogicality and rampant incompetence], which unfortunately is only leading to dwindling trust in the rules. This will inevitably be followed by flouting, whether intentional or not, and then nobody is a winner. Hence the new fines of €11,000 for those infected who don't isolate themselves.

The USA

Dear God. . . The NFAC (Not Fucking Around Coalition) is a (legal) armed black militia group. Is it any wonder some pessimists are predicting a second US Civil War, however preposterous this seems right now? 

Meanwhile . . . How twisted can theists get? . .  Pastor Robert Henderson, who said in 2019 that Donald Trump‘s re-election was already secured in “the courts of heaven” says his prayers were responsible for killing Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Cue the perspicacious Jonathan Swift. 

Social Media  

This is almost incredible. Almost.  

English/Spanish 

Three more less-common refranes:-

- Each of us must face our own responsibilities: Que cada palo aguante su vela.

- Each person knows where problems lie: Cada uno sabe donde le aprieta el zapato.

- Each to his own and God watching over everyone: Cada uno en su casa, y Dios en las de todos.

Finally . . . 

I hope early-ish readers realised that yesterday it should have been my trousers tucked into my socks not trousers tucked into my trousers.

 

* A terrible book, by the way. Don't be tempted to buy it, unless you're a very religious Protestant.



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