Logo Maria R. Manzano

My name is María Ruiz Manzano and I'm a freelance licensed tour guide born, bred and based in Seville, Spain. After spending some time in Denmark and Madrid, I came back to my hometown where I've been guiding curious travellers through my beloved Andalusia ever since.

This is an insider's space about Seville & Andalusia's popular culture and my thoughts on responsible tourism. Click in ABOUT ME to know my story!

6 things I've learn after a month of lockdown in Spain

6 things I've learn after a month of lockdown in Spain


Hi there outside world! After almost a month in lockdown here in Spain, I see how different countries are recommending to stay at home or they’re simply in lockdown too. Not the best moment for tour guiding for sure, but I’m hopeful that better times will come! While Spain and Italy have been two of the first countries to enter in quarantine mode in the western world, I wanted to share with you my impressions in case you’re still at the early stages of confinement or not there even yet.

  1. Toilet paper storage: This is one of the images that I seeing wherever you are. Don’t worry, toilet paper will be back again the next morning. Truth is, that if everyone’s panicking about not having enough and go first time in the morning to get tones, THEN there will be shortage for that day. If shopping is done as normal, there will be enough for everybody and workers won’t have to replace the same items over and over again.
  2. Plans, plans everywhere: all of a sudden you’ll find lots of resources at your disposal: the local library has ALL electronic books for public access, you can watch opera for free and download the best museums’ catalogues for 0€. Your contacts will bombard you with links with articles, yoga lessons and online courses to stay productive.
  3. Sense of guilt: as a consequence of the upper, it might well be that you are not in the mood for taking the opportunity to enjoy all of these activities to kill your at-home time. Maybe you’ve just lost your job and worry about the future, maybe a relative is ill, or maybe you’re still processing everything’s going on and you just want to lay in bed and watch Netflix all day. It’s also possible you feel guilty because everyone else seem to be productive and you just can’t focus. As far as I see around me and in myself, it’s completely normal.
  4. The coronavirus obsession: during the first 10 days I was obsessed with knowing everything about coronavirus. The only experience Europe had dealing with it was Italy’s, so I compulsively read all the news from Spain AND Italy as being our closest example we could expect that whatever happened there would happen here in a 7 days period. Our Government gives daily press conferences with up-to-day information and I had my face stuck to the screen every single day. My contacts also shared a massive amount of links on articles, from the very scientific ones to those with the most absurd conspiracy theories. After a while, I stopped. Not only because I realised it didn’t do any good to me, but also because I felt exhausted. I chose to keep informed through official channels and only when I know there will be another measure taken.
  5. Face masks: First it was argued that the use of facemasks wasn’t necessary by the healthy population as it didn’t protect you from getting infected but it was useful to wear if you had Covid19 to protect others. Lately in Italy and Spain governments are changing their positions as they know more about coronavirus: it is estimated that a large part of the infected population develops no symptoms, so wearing the masks is recommended in all cases. If you think you might have caught COVID19, maybe it’s a good idea to start thinking of getting one to protect others. That being said, it might a bit challenging as there’s a global shortage of face mask worldwide ☹
  6. Baking: It seems everybody has thought about becoming bakers at the same time! We’re seeing how supermarkets, after a month, are beginning to run out of flour and baking powder at certain hours. Just a reminder that there are lots of yummy recipes out there that don’t involve these ingredients both sweet and savory. I’ll be posting some of the Andalusian recipes I’m making these days on my Instagram stories, so stay tuned if you want to travel through food!
Categories: M.R. ManzanoSeville
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