Explosion of Covid cases turns Spain into a new ‘risk zone’ in European context – Normalitas

“One of the summer classics is back,” celebrates the cultural newsletter I receive in my email.

The text refers to one of Barcelona’s main music festivals, Cruïlla (“crossroads” in Catalan, a reference to the “vocation” of the event to promote “meetings”, according to the official website), which, after a year of truce, takes place between July 8 and 10, 2021.

The event, which welcomes up to 75,000 people in each edition, takes place at the same time as Spain, in the space of two weeks, once again becomes one of the countries with the highest rate of contagion in Europe, thanks to the expansion of the Delta variant, especially among young people.

In other words, in a flurry of summer eyelashes, Spain now has almost 50% (4 out of 10) of the infections detected on the continent.

Catalonia, along with Barcelona, ​​is by far the most worrying province, with a dizzying jump from 150 cases to over 1,000 a day (or 6,000 on Monday July 5) in just one week.

The Irish at the Two Door Cinema Club, as part of the Cruïlla festival program, Barcelona, ​​July 2021 (Courtesy)

In light of this, in recent days, France and Germany have issued official notes recommending their citizens to avoid Spain (and Portugal, another country where the animal picks up) as a tourist destination. .

Too late. I already see foreign tourists coming out of the tubes. Images of overly touristy destinations like Ibiza, Mallorca and Salou have circulated on the networks, showing jubilant crowds thronging the streets and pubs.

***

With the reopening of nightlife at the end of June and the relaxation of health precautions, such as the compulsory wearing of masks in the streets, Spain, the second most visited destination in the world, wanted to prepare for the arrival of foreign tourists in July, mainly British, German and French, who were coming in droves around this time.

The problem is that the rehabilitation of the country’s cultural and nightlife has coincided with explosive factors: school holidays, the arrival of summer … and the expansion of the Delta variant, up to 60% more contagious than ‘before.

Although national vaccination is progressing (44.4% of the population has already received the complete protocol, and 58.2%, at least one dose), the climate already gained has led the population to set up a circus very early on. Party. A lot.

***

Unlike the other four great pandemic waves in Spain, this one is not as deadly – there have been 16 reported deaths from Covid across the country in the past seven days – but it has spread very quickly. The main objective this time: young people up to 30 years old.

These are not, in general, hospitalized, but seek health centers. The result: Although less than 10% of the country’s intensive care beds are currently occupied by critically ill patients with Covid, the primary health care system is collapsing again. To make matters worse, in the middle of the holiday season there is up to 50% less staff coverage.

Queue for PCR at a clinic in Barcelona, ​​June 2021 (Susana Bragatto / Folhapress)

Some regional governments have called for a return to restrictive measures such as curfews, backed by the now defunct national state of emergency.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez excludes going back on the Great Game of the coronavirus epidemics, arguing that the Spanish “decentralized health system” is “in the hands of the communities [governos locais]», Which would have enough tools to act. For a certain time.

**

For its first post-Covid edition, Cruïlla reduced international programming in favor of more local programming, even if it had, here and there, extra-border attractions, such as the Irishwoman of the Two Door Cinema Club and the Franco-Chilean Ana. Tijoux.

Another difference compared to previous years is that in order to participate it is necessary to present a negative antigen test, to be purchased on the festival site for prices varying between 8.5 euros (53 R $ for a test) and 15 euros (R $ 93.63) for 3 events, the equivalent of the three days of the festival.

Currently, any event of more than 500 people in Catalonia must require the visitor to test negative for antigens, negative PCR carried out up to 12 hours before, or a full vaccination certificate. Without it, no fun.

In Cruïlla, visitors also receive a free fpp2 mask, this pro Super Marvelous Protector of Dispersion and Splashes, whose health personnel were so lacking at the height of the pandemic. Hooray!

On the first day of the festival, last Thursday (8), a battalion of 300 hired professionals carried out 13,000 antigen tests, a feat among European festivals, among which around 125 positives were detected. Among them, the singer of the opening group, Senyor Oca, replaced at the last minute.

New times. Or not. More or less. In a rainbow-colored world after the goblin pot of gold, and forgetting a little about the exceptionally controlled and fabulous environment of a music festival, I would like to believe in everyone’s collaboration, rather than shitting again and again rules to control the lack of responsibility and spirit of individual and collective cooperation. Was this the last epidemic? Or am I freaking out?

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“You want me forever with my reign and your bandera
There are no fronteras
already take me
Nowhere”

(“No puedo vivir sin ti”, Coque Malla / Los Ronaldos)

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