In this video you can see people clapping their hands from their homes to encourage each other in Spain. Today the situation we are living in worldwide seems more like the script of a fiction movie than the year 2020, that many thought would be the begining of a new age. I imagine that those who thought that 2020 would bring in an era of technological changes and progress in all fields did not expect that a virus would threaten humanity and bring the world economy to a halt. Collapsed hospitals, deserted streets, closed shops and deaths… And that is what we are doing in Barcelona: staying at home and stoping our economy to prevent the spread of the virus. We hope to be able to return to normal activity very soon.

As of March 19th, 2020, the coronavirus (or COVID-19) has already infected 228,451 people, of which it has killed 9,303 around the world. Every second this number is increasing (Check out the progression by countries here).

The figures in Spain are not encouraging but alarming: 767 deaths and 17,147 infected, numbers that are rising that make us think about how vulnerable human beings are and how fragile our global system is.

A perfectly geared mechanism in which one part fails, the rest seems to fall apart as well. Each piece is important to get out of this terrible situation.

Cashiers, truckers and pharmacists who keep working to supply food to supermarkets, equipment, and medicine; the doctors who risk their lives to save others working 24 hours a day; the flight attendants and pilots for bringing the citizens back to their countries before the borders close; the scientists that fight to find a medicine that can slow down the deadly advance of this pandemic. And of course, we miss our visitors. We need the tourism because it is the engine that moves the world from one side to the other. Those visitors that year after year have wanted to know Barcelona and its surroundings. We want to continue receiving them with a smile when this bad dream finishes… As Jorge Bucay said: «Don’t forget that, good and bad, this also will pass”. Absolutely EVERYTHING is temporary. And we are working from now to offer the best of Barcelona during the following months.

See the reality of the streets of Barcelona in this webcams:

I was talking with my grandmother yesterday. I was complaining to her about this dramatic situation and she said to me: «But this is wonderful! Today, we can communicate by phone and check that everyone in the family is okay. You can go to the supermarket and buy whatever you want to eat. Before we need to run away for the war but now we just need to STAY AT HOME until this stops, and we will ok”. 

A message of optimism and reflection. Wise words from a woman who lived through the terrible Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), when they had to run across the country under a hail of bullets, and then the post-war period, in which only bread with olive oil and salt was the daily menu of each family, or the members who had been lucky enough to survive.

Photo: Hulton Deutsch (Getty Images). First day of the Spanish Civil War.

Original photo of agency. After the Spanish Civil War, Catalan refugees in Le Perthus, 1939.

Original photo of agency. After Spanish Civil War, Catalan refugees in Le Perthus, 1939.

That’s why we have to deal this as our war now! It is a time for reflection and the best opportunity to be together, to show solidarity and love and to fight against a virus that has shown that humans are not as strong as they think. Perhaps COVID-19 has mutated from an animal, or maybe it emerged from chemicals in a laboratory… there are many theories. Perhaps it has come only to teach us a lesson: that we all need each other! And also Barcelona Guide Bureau would be nothing without our visitors. So from here we want to send a message to invite travelers to visit us when this situation calms down, which will be here sooner than you think.

For the moment: stay calm and follow the advice of the World Health Organization. You will find videos with all the information you need to know about how to prevent and treat the virus.

And remember these basic rules:

1. Wash your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water

Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

2. Maintain social distancing

Keep at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between you and anyone around you, because when someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus.

3. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Your hands touch many surfaces which contain many viruses and can potentially transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth.

4. Practice respiratory hygiene

Make sure you and the people around you follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

5. If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Do not go to the hospital unless it is absolutely necessary.

From Barcelona Guide Bureau we just want to send you a message of encouragement and strength because remember that… this will also pass… and we will return with the same enthusiasm as always to show you the city we love 🙂 and do not worry, book your tour with us, change the dates if you need to… reschedule and keep traveling!

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