COVID-19 reached us here in Galicia mid-March 2020, as the WHO announced the pandemic. Masks quickly sold out in the hardware shops and we made masks out of clean white socks. We managed lockdown OK as we have plenty of space and land, but we pictured being back in the city and our heart went out to people living in apartments.

Heath was unwell at some point and had the COVID-19 test at the hospital; negative result thank God! She arranged grocery donations from us expats to Galicians who were in need, having suffered from the economic effects of the pandemic. We heard stories of young and fit people perishing from the virus. The expat grapevine in our area, mostly Poms, carried stories of relatives in the UK in hospital, then recovering. Our family and friends in Sydney were all working from home for a year, now they are pretty much back to normal.

Now, in April 2021, the vaccine is being rolled out to much controversy. People tell stories of deaths via blood clots and many people we know are refusing the vaccine. I will agree to it as I would like to be able to travel, but the underlying threat to civil liberty is in the wings. Conspiracy theories abound.

I don’t watch much global media and steer clear of contemplating the pandemic’s effects on world economies too much. I trust that this year and next we will see less infection, a hearty return to business and the eventual containment of COVID-19. The whole thing has led me to an even more acute gratitude for the elements in my blessed life.