Ester Conesa Carpintero

Spain, still recovering. Start again? Insert coin.

Spain. Tourism and bars.

A European country.

Public cuts from 2008 in health, education, corruption,

still recovering.

Hospitals start to collapse. The president appears in the media surrounded by army majors. Military and police presence in the street will enforce the lock down with fines.

Hospitals are full; thousands a day die. Terror. Downs and ups, ups and downs. But don’t stop working. Don’t stop thinking. Spain follows Italy. Sing and clap every day at 20:00h on your balcony, with your neighbours, with the Spanish song “Sobreviviré” (“I will survive”), everywhere, everyday. “We shall overcome” personal flags. Don’t stop doing home sports and children’s activities of all kinds, following your saturated smartphone full of overwhelming home-creative initiatives.

We cannot go out. Not even for sun, for breathing. City centred measures spread in all territories. Remote working. Technical problems. Online headache meetings, some of which can cheer up your evening. Some people can walk with their dog, but not with their children. Need to be overinformed. Information overload.

Residences for old people start to look like cemeteries. No money for PCR tests. No money for FFP2 masks. Global competition for resources. Spain, always late. Masks massively bought from China do not reach health standards. They say. Other mask boxes, stolen.

Doctors and nurses desolated on TV. Not enough beds, ventilators, resources. There are no masks; not even for health personnel. Government says no masks are needed for population. Government cannot reach masks. Doctors and nurses start to be infected, isolated. Not enough personnel in the hospitals. Weeks after, masks are crucial for the whole population. Don’t go out without masks. Work with masks. Breathe with masks. Suffocate with masks. Live with masks. Keep distance. Keep distance. Keep distance. Clean hands. Keep on working at home, with your children, with no computers, with no resources, without office, with your wifi. “The pandemic brings good things too!” (Spain is reaching higher rates of teleworking – a good measure for gender equality, haha).

Trying to understand. Comparing numbers. Spain and Italy, again. Italy and Spain. UK, France. Counting, analysing, reading. Complex medical reviews, hypothetical treatments and helpless fictitious vaccines. Fake news, conspiracy theories. 5G is responsible. All those wireless invisible waves had to be the ones in charge of the pandemic.

You breathe, you try some home-sport. You are privileged. You ARE privileged. Just wait. Just try to figure out where you can help. Do your job, you HAVE a job. Long-hours job. Extra hours. But: finish your thesis. Finish your thesis. Finish your thesis. Try to concentrate. Stay in the same chair all day long. Morning, afternoon, evening, night. Even if your knees hurt and your head is fried. But try to concentrate. But do some sport, but do some activities for you back pain. But don’t obsess. Stop reading, watching, listening to the news! Try to communicate with others. Try to communicate. Try to communicate. Be informed. Not so much. Just a little. Be informed.

Thousands with no jobs. Millions. Bars closed. The new desert. No tourism. Economy drowning. Companies closed, freelancers unemployed. Migrant workers forgotten until they matter. Portugal legalises (many of) them. Spain gives (them) some months more to work in the summer harvests. Say thanks. To be illegal again. Again. Meanwhile, sleep on the floor, work all day long, be infected. Lock down again.

Female migrant care workers with no contracts, no work, no subsidies. Invisible. Insignificant. Illegal. Even more illegal than before. Who are you and your daughter staying with?

Rents equally unequal (Barcelona city, your rent 1.000€/month; your salary, if so, 900€-1200€/month). Longer charity lines. But do your job, finish your thesis. 

Spain. Tourism and bars.

A European country.

Still recovering from 2008.

Start again?

Insert coin.  



Ester Conesa is finishing her dissertation at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Barcelona, Spain). She focuses on care and time in academia, in the context of new managerialism and austerity measures. She combines a full-time job with teaching connected to gender issues. During the first wave of the pandemic in march-april 2020, measures in Spain obliged to stay at home except for buying food and walk the dogs. Except essential services all other economic and social activities outside ‘working from home’ were completely stopped.