Going through my photo archives from last year, I have to admit that I went maybe a bit over the top documenting Valencia immediately after the strict Covid-19 lockdown measures were lifted. It’s just that, I’d never seen the city like this… quiet and deserted, almost like a ghost town.
Nearly a year later, we’re still in the middle of the pandemic, so these images of an empty city might not seem too strange — we’ve become used to the sight of deserted streets and forlorn plazas. But I hope that in ten or fifteen years, we’ll be able to look back on these photos and find them completely weird.
Compared to previous post-lockdown videos I’ve shared, this one best captures the overall mood of the city, and how startling it is to suddenly see the random person walking through the streets, like a lost soul trying to find its way back to normality. We’ll get there eventually, right? Sooner or later, the world will get back to normal… won’t it?
Here in Valencia, we’re currently experiencing the worst numbers since the beginning of the pandemic, both in new cases and deaths. And starting today, January 21st, we’ll have to deal with more restrictions. There will be a curfew at 6pm, and the government has ordered bars and restaurants to shut completely (except for takeout).
We really hope that our favorite restaurants will be able to find their way back to normality, too… especially the small, family-run places. The worst would be that only the big chain restaurants with ample funding will be able to survive this, and will expand further than they already have. Every time a traditional place closes, and is replaced by some cookie-cutter chain, it’s a serious loss for the city… and Valencia has lost so much already.