San Angelo, TX — The Covid-19 pandemic has spread across the globe and some countries, like Spain, have enacted a strict, nationwide lockdown.
San Angelo native, Janie Soupiset has been in Madrid, Spain for the past six months, teaching English to schoolchildren. Her photos and videos show a once bustling city now quiet and deserted.
“Everyone’s kind of struggling at this point. It’s day fifteen, I think, of very strict quarantine,” says Soupiset, “You know, I talked to some of my Spanish friends today and they’re all just like ‘I’m going crazy in this house!'”
Even going to the grocery store can feel unsettling and, with police strictly enforcing quarantine, even scary.
“I get stopped every time I walk outside. They ask me for my id. They ask me: what am I doing? They ask me: where am I going? I was going to a grocery store just, like, a little bit further than the closest one to me because it has more, and I got pulled over by the police and they told me “Nope! Turn around. That’s not your closest grocery store.
So, it’s a really strict lockdown and it’s, honestly, scary.”
Though the unease and stress of living in a nation under quarantine is great, Soupiset says people across the country have started a daily tradition that brings neighbors closer together, if not physically, at least emotionally.
“Before the quarantine happened the news was like ‘Okay, so tonight at eight o’clock we’re going to go out on our balconies and clap for healthcare workers and everyone that’s still working. And it was just supposed to be a one-night thing but we’ve been doing it ever since. So for the past sixteen or seventeen days at eight o’clock we go out and we cheer for the healthcare workers every day.”
Soupiset says she keeps in daily touch with her family in San Angelo and she only has one message for everyone in her hometown.
“I would tell them to take this social distancing very seriously. Like, it can get really out of hand really quickly and we just need to keep our distance and shelter in place if we can.”