Sunday, March 07, 2021

Easter will likely be cancelled

Spain’s has has made a preliminary agreement with the regions to extend the current coronavirus restrictions on social activity over Easter week. 

Regions will remain under a perimeter lockdown, meaning no one can enter or leave without a justified reason, such as going to work. 

The regions also agreed to set a curfew between 10pm and 6am during Easter week and to ban large events where crowds form, meaning Spain’s Easter processions are likely to be cancelled.

Other measures include a four-person limit on social gatherings in both private and public spaces, regardless of whether they take place indoors or outdoors, and recommendations against members of different households gathering inside the home or other indoor spaces. 

Traditionally, many who own second homes in this area come from Madrid to enjoy an Easter break. Hopefully, they will stay away this year because the incidence of cases in Madrid (253 per 100,000) is the highest of all the regions on the mainland. 

A crazy winter

 Taken from El Pais

From the biggest snowfall in a century and an exceptional cold snap, to unseasonable highs, this winter has gone from one extreme to another in Spain, swinging within a temperature range of 50ºC. 

Intense northerly winds in late December brought an arctic air mass to the peninsula, which became stagnant and continued to cool. The interaction between this mass and Storm Filomena’s air flow, which was very humid and relatively warm, caused a massive snowfall, the scale of which had not been seen in Madrid since 1904.

A second cold snap followed in the wake of Filomena, breaking five records for the lowest minimum temperature. But it wasn’t only the minimum temperatures that were below freezing: the thermometer barely rose during daylight hours either, so two records for the lowest maximum temperatures were also broken. 

Within 10 days, the pendulum had swung in the opposite direction, with unusually high temperatures that broke 20 records. On January 29, temperatures reached almost 30ºC in Alicante, the highest temperature ever recorded in January by AEMET. Between the -25.2ºC felt that day in Molina, in Castilla-La Mancha, and the 29.8ºC reading in Alicante, there was a difference of 55ºC, an unprecedented temperature range in Spain.

Meanwhile, Storm Hortense triggered a bizarre meteorological episode on January 22. Even more staggering is the fact that the phenomenon was repeated on February 5. And, to cap it all, there were two very intense episodes of suspended dust in February. The first one caused a muddy downpour that reached as far as the Pyrenees, where it turned the snow a deep shade of ochre in a weather event not seen for 30 years.


We were promised rain



And boy are we getting it. Looking out the window I can see my pool filling up and are concerned that I may find a lot more water in my pool box. I just hope it doesn't get into the pump. 

On a positive note, it will have washed all that brown dust off our cars. 

UPDATE

The rain has eased off so I went out to examine the box. The water was just below the pump so I waited until the rain stopped and used my bilge pump to bail the water out. 


 

Saturday, March 06, 2021

Government priorities

NHS staff in the UK are to be awarded a 1% pay increase which Matt Hancock says is fair and all that can be afforded. They were promised 2.1% but that was before the pandemic. 

Meanwhile:

1. The UK  government is  prepared to spend £2.6 million on a briefing room so it can start daily press conferences.  This has been described by the BBC as another vanity project by the PM.

2. It is also said that the Prime Minister's girlfriend is spending £200,000 refurbishing the flat above No 11 Downing Street and possibly a further £5,000 to replace the carpets that their rescue dog has spoiled. The allegations go on to assert that the PM is looking to find ways to foot the bill by using Conservative Party funds. 

3. The Government have  agreed a £340.000 settlement with Sir Philip Putman who quit amid bullying claims against the Home Secretary, Priti Patel. His resignation led the Cabinet Office to launch an inquiry into whether Ms Patel had broken the code governing ministers' behaviour.

Boris Johnson's standards chief Sir Alex Allan found that she had - but the PM rejected his findings and kept her in post. Sir Alex resigned in response.

4. The Queen’s official fleet of planes is to be sold off as part of defence cuts in a move that will force her to borrow Boris Johnson’s Union Flag jet.

With no plans for a replacement for the four BAE-146 passenger jets, the Queen, Prince Charles and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will have to share the Prime Minister’s RAF Voyager plane, which received a controversial £900,000 makeover last year.

5. Last year, a report by the National Audit Office (NAO) examined how firms were awarded contracts — including many without competition — worth £18bn to secure essentials such as PPE equipment in the initial months of the pandemic.

The NAO also noted: “A number of contracts were awarded retrospectively, or have not been published in a timely manner.

It is alleged that some of those contracts were awarded to friends and acquaintances of Government Ministers and at least one was for gowns that were not suitable for use.

The list cold go on and on. For example, we could look at the huge amount that was wasted on Test, Track and Trace and the weekly bill for consultants that support this project. 

 Brexit was supposed to deliver £350m per week that could be used to support the NHS. That is what it said on the bus. Of course it was a lie, instead Brexit has cost the country hundreds of millions of pounds.

Thursday, March 04, 2021

Bring back the sun

At this time of year we expect rain, we need rain to top up the reservoirs for the long dry summer to come. However, we haven't had any rain to talk about for 53 days. 

This week we haven't seen the sun either and everything outside is covered in a layer of brown dust. When I look for my car in a car park, I am searching for a petrol blue car not a dirty brown one. 

It seems that we haven't finished with that dust yet. There could well be rain over the weekend that will bring more mud with it.  


 

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Vaccines in Bigastro

 The Health Centre was a hive of activity this morning with a procession of people arriving for their Covid jabs. There was even a team  prepared to give an injection outside to those who could not make it inside 

Those who were called needed to hand over their SIP card to allow the staff to record who had been injected. 

Since Spain is only giving the Pfizer vaccine to people over 55, it must have been that one that was being dolled out today. However, France and I believe Germany are now reconsidering their decision to only give the Astra Zeneca vaccine to younger people. It is likely that Spain will follow suit and will also consider delaying the second dose to allow more people to gain some protection. 

We await the phone call with baited breath.

The street is not the place for rubbish

Clearing the rubbish that someone has dumped on Calle Holanda.



 

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Get a grip Spain!

 This report from El Pais paints a less than encouraging picture of the vaccine rollout in Spain. 

Organizational problems are hampering Spain’s Covid-19 vaccination drive. While the country at one point was administering nearly all of the vaccines that were delivered, this is no longer the case. As more doses have arrived and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been integrated into the program, the difference between the number of jabs received and those administered has grown. Healthcare representatives say this is largely due to organizational problems. While the first phase of the vaccination drive targeted staff and residents in care homes, as well as frontline health workers, who are easy to locate and bring together, the next stage has been extended to essential workers under the age of 55 and people 80 years and over, which is presenting logistical challenges.

Although the regions – which are responsible for handling the response to the pandemic and the Covid vaccination drive – have launched this next phase at different speeds, the overall trend is clear. On February 2, Spain had administered 94% of all Covid doses it had received. This figure fell to 90% on February 9 and to 87% on February 23. Last week, it dropped again to 75%. The figures from last week are the most recent as Spain has not yet had time to administer the last shipment of Covid vaccines: 886,880 new doses, the largest delivery to date. It won’t be known until next Tuesday whether Spain’s vaccination drive is slowing down or picking up after starting the inoculation of the next priority groups.

The difference between the number of doses delivered and those administered is greatest with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was approved after the candidates from Pfizer and Moderna. The Spanish Health Ministry decided to only use the AstraZeneca vaccine on people between the ages of 18 and 55, due to the lack of clinical evidence of its effectiveness in older demographics. This meant it needed to push forward a new priority group: essential workers, such as teachers, law-enforcement officers and firefighters, under the age of 55. On February 23 (the last day with comparable data), Spain had administered 95.5% of the doses from Pfizer, 70.8% from Moderna and just 33.7% from AstraZeneca.

On Thursday, Madrid began vaccinating essential workers in the Wanda Metropolitano stadium and people 80 years and over in healthcare centres. But the process has been mired in confusion, with nursing and doctors unions complaining of “improvisation and chaos.” These unions say the region sent out an out-of-date list of patients to be vaccinated, which included the names of the deceased. The Health Minister also says that the region continues to use syringes that cannot extract the sixth dose contained in each vial of the vaccine, meaning doses are continuing to go to waste.

Of course, the rollout in the UK will slow down as those that had the first shot of vaccine pass the 12 week point and require a second dose. In other words, the available vaccines will be required to provide full protection rather than inoculate more and more people.  Over 19 million have had the first dose but only 760,000 the second dose. The seven-day average for first doses is about 348,000 doses a day.

The Spanish Government currently estimates that they will be able to supply as many as 8.1 million doses per month during the spring. Let's hope they are right and perhaps more important, they get the doses available into people's arms. 

Friday, February 26, 2021

Changes to the rules

From the 1st March.

  •  Outdoor meetings are increased to allow up to four people.
  • The municipal perimeter closure is eliminated on weekends in the 16 most populated cities in the Valencian Community, such as Orihuela and Torrevieja.
  • The hotel business is open until 6pm but only on the terraces and with a maximum of four people to a table and with a capacity of 75%
  • The opening hours of shops are extended until 8:00 p.m. and with a capacity of 50%.
  • Sports activities are reactivated as long as they are in open spaces, always without physical contact, in pairs or with a maximum of four people per monitor. The mask is not mandatory
  • The parks and gardens are opened and the capacity in places of worship and religious increases up to 50%.
  • Night mobility restrictions are maintained from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • The regional perimeter closure is extended to enter and leave the Valencian Community.

Advice from Her Majesty

Articles in the Daily Mail and Express tell us that the Queen has suggested that people should think of others rather than themselves when offered a Covid 19 jab. 

Both these papers excel in whipping up opinion. They bait their readers with inflammatory stories that they know will spark fury. In this case, they know that there are many anti royalists amongst those that read their papers who will react. The fact I can find no similar articles in papers like the Guardian, the Independant, the Telegraph etc. speaks volumes.

The following are comments from their readers: 

 The most over privileged self indulgent robbed us blind her entire life woman on this earth telling US to think of others lmfao - now you know for CERTAIN this 'jab' is anything but safe. All you people who thought this old person was just a hand waving money grabber know different now...she's up to her neck in control and always has been.

Propagandist mouthpiece to push the gullible serfs into being experimental lab rats.

You know how desperate they are when they wheel out the Queen to sell a lie! Seriously how could our government coerce/sell us something that has never been trailed* and if it injures or kills you nobody is liable? .....* I think he means trialled. 

The Mail claims that around 15 per cent of the population will not take up the offer of a jab, with scepticism highest among the young and minority ethnic groups. Those that read this could well come to the conclusion that there is an issue here and may decide to refuse the vaccine without any evidence to back up their choice. They may even chose to refuse the vaccine simply because the Queen suggests you should take it. 

On another note, I read that in Germany, people are refusing the Astra Zeneca vaccine because they believe others like the Pfizer one is more efficient especially in older age groups. A survey in Israel of people which includes elders who have received the Astra Zeneca jab completely disproves this. 

The truth is that some newspapers and broadcasters who claim to reflect opinion are in fact shaping it with their carefully crafted articles. Neither the Mail nor the Express criticise the Queen for her remarks, they leave that up to their readers. 


Thursday, February 25, 2021

Beware


 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

A waiting game

 Pedro Sánchez, has renewed the promise that, by the end of summer, 70% of the Spanish population, or about 33 million citizens, will be immunized against Covid 19.. The president acknowledged that the current rate of inoculation of 540,000 doses a week is not adequate, because in fact, with the current vaccination speed, Spain would need 174 weeks, more than three years, to be able to immunize its entire population.

The main problem has been supply. Spain expects  to "quadruple" the arrival of doses during the second quarter of this year. They are even planning to open mass immunisation centres e.g. the IFA conference centre near to Alicante Elche Airport to vaccinate the larger numbers of people. So far and after almost two months of the inoculation campaign, they have only managed to deliver 3,622,165 jabs to the communities, which have only served to immunize just over 1.2 million people with the full protocol of two doses. 

It isn't as if there were not enough ordered as this diagram explains.




Sunday, February 21, 2021

Not again!

My car needs a wash but i'll leave it for now!


 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

A shot in the arm

As Britain looks to be hitting its target of 15 million people receiving their first dose of a Covid vaccine, we ask, "when will we be vaccinated here in Spain?".

Spain’s Health Ministry and regional governments are working out the details of the next stage of the coronavirus vaccination campaign. Following the first phase that included care home residents, healthcare workers and people with severe disabilities who are not in care facilities, next in line to get their shots are the 70-and-older group.

There are nearly four million people in the 70-79 age group. Vaccination of these will begin as the vaccination of the over-80s advances, when there are enough doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine for both groups, given the AstraZeneca vaccine is restricted to over-55s.

If the current pace of delivery keeps up, this new phase could begin in March, although the start date may be pushed forward or back depending on the speed of shipment deliveries and whether new vaccines get approved, said sources familiar with the situation.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

New work in Bigastro

The councillor for Urbanism of the Bigastro City Council, Antonio Meseguer, has presented the start of works in different streets of the old town, which will mean a significant change in the image of this area, with an investment of more than 600,000 euros.

The works will be carried out on Calle Mayor, Calle Goya, Calle Maestro Grau, Calle San Joaquín and Plaza Ramón y Cajal.

The mayor explained that the first phase has just begun, which consists of remodelling the entire drinking water network, with a change in both the network and all the water connections that are more than 50 years old using materials such as lead . "These were the first networks that supplied the municipality with drinking water," said the mayor, who has stated that 160,000 euros have been budgeted for this work that is already underway.

The second phase of this project, with more than 450,000 euros of investment, will begin next week and has an execution period of three months.  This involves a complete renovation and improvement of the  the  town's pavements .  The improvement to safety, accessibility and above all a semi-pedestrianization, further restricting the passage of vehicles will give greater prominence to the pedestrian.




There will be a new led lighting and a new pavement designed exclusively for Bigastro by Terrazos San Joaquín who have more than 50 years of experience in the manufacturing sector.  The personalized pavement bears two great hallmarks for the municipality, its embossed shield and three orange leaves, which  symbolize agriculture,  the profile of the Bigastro hill, and a third leaf that joins the field and the orchard. 

As for the characteristics of the new paving. According to Meseguer, it is more resistant, durable and less slippery in the rain, "a pavement with more quality and better aesthetics that is the objective of this council."

More Brexit woes

 Remember I complained on the 23rd January about the issues I was having problems buying art materials from England. 

Actually, the parcel of brushes from Rosemary & Co did arrive a few days later and was handed over to me without any mention of VAT or other fees. That was probably because it came by post and not by courier.

Now I need some tubes of oil colour to replace those that are running out. So I went to Jackson's site and there was a message to say that all orders to the EU by courier were suspended due to the excess charges that customers were being asked to pay. You could still order small items that could be sent by post. Three tubes of paint though was too much - I could order two normal tubes or one large tube but not both. 

Research then took me to a Spanish site Artemiranda that sold the paints I needed except that two of the colours were out of stock. 

Normally it would be a simple matter of waiting a week or two for new stock to arrive but we already know that a large percentage of goods that used to flow from the UK to the EU and reverse are not bing transported due to issues with paperwork. 

The problems with supply were confirmed yesterday by a trip to Iceland Overseas Stores. There were many items of fresh produce e.g. cheeses that were missing from the shelves and the staff reported that there was little chance of getting new supplies any time soon. The store obviously has stock of long life items but even they will run out eventually. 

I haven't tried buying anything else from the UK yet. We do buy clothes from M&S but since lockdown began, there has been little need for new clothes. I've just checked their site to find this message.

 Following the UK’s departure from the EU, you will now need to complete a customs declaration form for all orders arriving in the EU from the UK. You will be contacted directly by your local courier with the relevant details to facilitate delivery. No additional duties or taxes will be payable.

I've not heard complaints from friends and relatives in the UK about getting goods from Europe, perhaps the UK has better stockpiles. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Going, going, gone

A trip down to the town yesterday proved interesting. Apart from the work on Calle Mayor, there was wholesale destruction taking place on Calle 1 de Mayo between Calle Purisima and Calle San Joaquin. 


 

Not to miss out

We would normally have a Middle Year Festival in February. Obviously that can't happen this year.  So, instead of the usual fancy dress parade through the streets, there will be a virtual parade on the town's website. 


 

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

A change of emphasis

 When the coronavirus vaccines were being developed, we were told that this was the way out of the crisis, the light at the end of the tunnel and the pathway back to normality. Our hopes were therefore raised when trials of these vaccines showed that they were both effective and safe. 

I may have misunderstood but my impression was that the vaccines were meant to build antibodies that would prevent you from being infected with Covid 19. We were told that the Pfizer/Moderna and Astra Zeneca style vaccines work in different ways but both had been shown to work. 

Originally there was talk of up to 95% effectiveness  whichever vaccine you were given and I assumed that meant they were almost guaranteed to prevent infection in all age groups. In other words, it didn't matter which vaccine you were given you would be equally well protected. Now we are told that the Astra Zeneca jab has yet to be proven  effective for senior citizens which is why most countries in Europe have decided not to use these with older people. Only the under 55s will be given the Astra Zeneca jab here in Spain.   

Further more,  there is a South African variant and reports from that country say that the Astra Zeneca vaccine is not effective against it. In South Africa they have stopped administering that vaccine until there is evidence that it will work.. 

In response, the UK is saying the Astra Zeneca jab may not prevent you from infection but it should stop you being seriously ill, requiring hospital treatment and dying and that surely is the important thing. Presumably you would still be infectious and thus capable of passing the virus to others.  I have not come across any similar concerns about the Pfizer vaccine so I assume that it still works against the new variants of the virus 

Don't get me wrong, when the Medical Centre in Bigastro phones me to make an appointment, I will be there with a smile on my face and thank the person who puts the needle into my arm. The fact that I will certainly be given the Pfizer version and not the Astra Zeneca one gives me a crumb of comfort. However it won't make me more confident to go out into crowded places and certainly won't make me abandon my mask any time soon. 

Monday, February 08, 2021

Covid measures remain

The President of the Generalitat believes that it is not the time to relax measures in the Valencian Community

Incidence of cases in the Valencian Community  stand at 1,190 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. That is 17 percent less than last week, but it is still very high, with 36,181 positives since Monday (which are also down 33 percent) and 3,651 admissions for covid in hospitals, almost 850 less than seven days ago. Despite the improvement, hospital occupancy by coronavirus patients  remains 34 percent, in ICUs it is close to 60 and so far this week 569 people have died. Data that, for Puig, show that it is not yet the time to relax any measure.

This Monday 60,000 doses of vaccines will arrive in the Valencian Community in a week that Puig considers "key" for the advancement of immunization. The Health Service  hopes to have finished in mid-February vaccinating the first groups (residences and first-line health) allowing them to advance with the following groups.

The Astra Zeneca vaccine will only be given to the 18-55 year old group amid fears about its efficiency for older people. 

Sunday, February 07, 2021

The promised levelling up!

Johnson and Hancock are gloating over the success of the vaccination rollout in the UK. Quite rightly, since 10.5 million have received their first dose and it looks possible that the target of 13.9 million by the middle of the month may be achieved. 

However, whether you have been given the first jab depends on where you live. No surprise that London leads the way by a wide margin. 


 

Monday, February 01, 2021

At a snail's pace

On  Tuesday 12th Spain received its first 35,700 doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine,

In total, the country is due to receive 600,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine before the end of the month of February. The quantities received will gradually rise, with 50,000 due to arrive this week. another 127,000 two weeks later, and 383,000 more in the third week of February. 

The country is currently receiving 350,000 doses a week of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Astra Zeneca vaccine has been approved but not yet distributed.

Meanwhile, in Britain, they are administering over half a million doses a day!

In the UK, more than 8,977,300 people have received their first dose of a Covid-19 jab and 491,000 have had the second since the vaccination drive began, according to government figures.

The EU signed contracts with AstraZeneca (400 million doses), Sanofi-GSK (300 million doses), Johnson and Johnson (400 million doses ), BioNTech-Pfizer 600 million doses, CureVac (405 million doses) and Moderna (160 million doses). The Commission has concluded exploratory talks with the pharmaceutical company Novavax with a view to purchasing up to 200 million doses and with Valneva with a view to purchase up to 60 million doses.

This means that the Commission has secured a portfolio of more than 2.3 billion doses. The question is, "when will we get them?".


 

Take a fast train

The first high Speed train from Orihuela to Madrid left this morning, at 06:28. 

Renfe offers the Madrid-Elche-Orihuela AVE service with four trains per day - two in each direction between Madrid Puerta de Atoche and the Elche Alta Velocity and Orihuela Miguel Hernández stations. 

The new service offers a direct connection between Madrid and Elche in 2 hours and 10 minutes, which on the section to Orihuela will be 2 hours and 22 minutes.

When Pam and I went to Madrid we flew from Alicante-Elche Airport. The flight time is just under an hour but of course we had to get to the airport, be there in advance, collect our luggage at Madrid and take a taxi from Madrid Airport to the city. One hour easily became five or more.  
 

Photo from Vega Baja Digital

 

Sunday, January 31, 2021

A positive spin


Most likely, wind is the most hated meteorological phenomenon, but you always have to try to get a positive point of view from things. The market price of electricity is LOWER on windy days.

When will the wind completely stop in the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula? Next Wednesday, February 3. Meanwhile, at intervals, it will continue to have an impact. 

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Hard times

We complain about the current situation but just look at these fascinating photos from Spain's past posted on Facebook.
























 

Teresa wants more trees


 

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Necessary measures

 You my ask, "are the precautions being taken here in Spain proportional?"

On the 15th of January the number of cases of coronavirus in Bigastro stood at 268.  Now, just 12 days later, the figure stands at 371 - that is a 38% rise. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

A reminder

 The electricity will be cut off today from 9:00am until 11:30am. 

Monday, January 25, 2021

Further restrictions

Note that both Torrevieja and Orihuela will be closed to traffic leaving or entering between 3pm on Fridays to 6am on Mondays.  


 

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Just look at San Fulgencio centre


 

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Troubled by wind

Those who live here will know just how windy it was yesterday.

The old cover that we put on the garden furniture was heavy enough to say in place in all but the strongest of winds. The new cover though is not so heavy and so the job today is to drag it back in place. 

I also notice that one of the brolly stands has made its way into the pool. The base should be no problem because it is floating around but the pole has sunk to the bottom of the pool. I'm hoping I can fish it out with my net because  there is no way I am going into that cold water!
 


 

The joys of Brexit

 Smooth, tariff free trade my backside!

Since the 1st January, UK companies can no longer charge VAT on goods ordered to be delivered to EU countries. Instead, it is the courier who will have to collect VAT and any import charges at the time of delivery. Of course, the same applies to UK customers buying goods from the EU. 

I regularly buy art materials from two UK companies; Jackson's Art Supplies who are based in London and Rosemary & Co Artist's Brushes who are based in Yorkshire. 

Jackson's supply possibly the widest range of art materials available online including items of their own brand which are of excellent quality at economical prices.

Rosemary & Co. produce arguably the finest quality handmade brushes at reasonable prices. I've currently got an order for brushes on its way - ordered on the 8th January without VAT. 

My order has been stuck at the Post Office's  Langley international processing centre for a week. I suspect it is the complications arising from Brexit that are holding it up. 

On their website, Rosemary & Co. say, "We have been informed that our EU customers are incurring high VAT rates as well as import duty together with handling and clearing fees ( hidden costs )." They have therefore stopped taking orders for the EU.

I have no idea whether I will be asked to pay extra charges by Correos and if so how much will they be. I am hoping that it will be no more than the VAT I would have paid at the time the order was placed. 

Companies like Rosemary & Co. rely upon trade to other countries, the market in the UK is just not large enough to keep them going. In fact Rosemary's biggest market is the US. 

Cynical Brexiteers tell UK customers , "not to buy goods from the EU, buy British instead." That's akin to asking people to turn their clocks back to a time when Britain made most of what people bought - we've moved on from then. 

Friday, January 22, 2021

Our jabs are on the way

 Spain’s Health Ministry and regional governments are working out the details of the next stage of the coronavirus vaccination campaign. 

If the current pace of delivery keeps up, this new phase could begin in March, although the start date may be pushed forward or back depending on the speed of shipment deliveries and whether new vaccines get approved.

Immunizing healthcare workers is proving to be a fast process, as they are easy to locate, but reaching the general population may prove slower

There are around 6.8 million people over the age of 70 in Spain, although of these, approximately 380,000 live in care homes and are in the process of being inoculated. People included in the next group will be notified by their local healthcare centre for an appointment, and those who are physically unable to go will receive a home visit by a nurse.

To compare the rollout of the vaccine with the UK we have to remember that the the UK has a population of 66.65 million with 8.8m over 70 year olds. Also the policy here is different. Those who have received the first  Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will get the second dose 21 days later. In the UK, people are  only being given one dose on the basis that this will mean more people will get partial immunity. The second dose will be given much later. 





Thursday, January 21, 2021

The new rules in Bigastro


 

Is there any good news?

Areas of Britain are on high alert for flooding as Storm Christoph deluges Greater Manchester, Northumberland and Yorkshire. Four 'severe' flood warnings, meaning there is a danger to life, were issued for the River Mersey at Didsbury and Northenden, and in Maghull.

The Manchester Evening News shows the areas of high alert which come pretty close to Sale where our youngest daughter lives. Thankfully, the River Mersey is starting to drop this morning. 

Britain also records a second record day for deaths from coronavius. On the plus side, the number of cases is now dropping thanks to the measures that have been taken.  

Advance notice

Not sure whether this means that electricity will be cut for the whole urbanisation or just Canada Andrea.


 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Tweaking

In response to the increased number of cases of Covid, the rules have been tightened. 
  • All bars and restaurants will be closed except for takeaways.  
  • All shops must close at 6pm, except those selling food. 
  • The 10pm curfew may be changed to an 8pm curfew.  
  • All sports centres, except those for professionals, are to be closed. 
Please note that the new  restrictions will be in force for 14 days.


 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Four years ago today

It is hard to believe that it was four years ago that we saw snow on the beaches of Torrevieja and the Orihuela costa. I even went outside and made a video of the snow falling outside our house. Of course the snow did not last long. Almost as soon as it covered the ground, it was gone.


 

Monday, January 18, 2021

From one extreme...

Last week it was bitterly cold - even more so in parts of the interior of Spain that are still at risk of low temperatures. 


 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Warming the night up

We heard the fire engine sirens and then Pam spotted an item on Facebook about the blaze last night.

It was in a palm plantation between Bigastro and Orihuela. Started at 6:09 and took two hours to extinguish. It total 5,000 m2 of palm forest was destroyed. 

Fortunately, no one was injured and none of the nearby houses were affected. 
 


 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Couldn't put it better myself


 Our neighbour, Eladia, posted this on Facebook. If you don't have symptoms, don't go out looking for them and if you do have symptoms don't go out to pass them on.