Covid-19 in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Melilla, Spain
The government of Spain instituted a Coronavirus lockdown — "confinamiento" in Spanish — starting March 15, 2020. It stayed in effect until June 21. During these three months the central government mandated that people stay in their homes, with many unable to buy groceries from shops more than 400 meters from their legal residence.
However, the story of lockdown in Spain extends beyond the initial 3 month confinamiento to the restrictions on social gatherings that have remained in place for almost 2 full years, contributing to a long-term sense of isolation for many. From Catalonia to Melilla to the Balearic Islands, after the first confinamiento ended, authority over Covid norms was decentralized and left up to each of Spain's 17 comunidades autónomas to determine. This has created a situation where different regions of the same country are subject to vastly different levels of restrictions.
In Melilla, a once porous border between the North African enclave and the Rif region of Morocco closed for over two years, stifling trade and freedom of movement between the two countries. In the Balearic Islands, European tourists can come and go, but those without identity papers or those visually dubbed "outsiders" due to their skin color are subject to greater scrutiny. In Catalonia, life is carrying on almost as if the pandemic has come and gone, leaving those who are immunocompromised or elderly to take health precautions into their own hands and navigate the cognitive dissonance of those around them living life-as-normal while they continue to maintain (rightful) fear of catching the virus.