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Human Stories

Quarantine Stories: Javier, Spain

Even though the lockdown situation is different in every European country, we all had to adapt our habits of eating, cooking and grocery shopping. Several people across Europe have opened up about the way their lives have changed during these strange times.

Javier (31), Bilbao, Spain

In Spain, the lockdown started on the 12th of March and since then I have only left my house four or five times in order to get food. I live alone. Both my parents and my sister live around the corner, but I haven’t seen them for a month. Buying groceries once a week is my outside life these days. The supermarket is only 100 meters from my house, and they allow 10 people at a time to enter. Since I am trying to be strategic and want to avoid long queues, I have figured out that the best time to go is in the afternoon, around 4 or 5 pm. This way, I never wait longer than five minutes. The first week I saw that people were scared and bought many things, in the second week it stabilised a bit, and now you can basically find everything again. 

Before the lockdown I would go grocery shopping every three days and make smaller purchases, now I try and go for bigger packages or stacks of drinks to hold me over a bit longer. Since I am by myself, I don’t need much. 

It is fair to say that my situation is a bit complex right now, since I left my old job at the beginning of March and am about to open a new company. The idea right now is to work from home and prepare all the documents and everything else we need before we can go outside and start offering our services. With my old job, I used to have lunch at local restaurants every day, which means that now I have to cook much more than before. I do enjoy it, but it can be quite difficult and boring to cook for myself. I end up cooking the same things like salads and roasted beef or chicken for lunch and lentils or hamburgers for dinner. I guess overall, I do eat a bit healthier now since I am not going out with my friends on the weekends. But I am used to cooking less often but bigger portions which I would be able to share with friends. For them, I would also be more diverse with my cooking or bake sweet dishes. Staying alone, I prefer not to waste time on that.

Not going to restaurants anymore also means that I eat less fish and more meat. I am having an easier time avoiding food waste since I find time to organize my food and take a close look at what I need before I go to the supermarket. I also avoid getting things delivered to my house. I think if people continuously ask for these services, it will also be easier to transfer the virus like that. I am hoping that in mid-May things will slowly get back to normal, so I can launch my company. Going back to restaurants might take a bit longer, though. 

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