Often times, the problem is not the rules but the exceptions. For example, last Christmas, when everyone knew there was going to be a rebound and agreed to warn of the danger of a third wave, the authorities decided that a day was a day and that almost all the measures could be lifted without problem.
Perhaps it is this precedent that has made this time the Interterritorial Health Council has decided to be absolutely inflexible in his decisions: all the autonomous communities (except the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands in some circumstances) will have to close the perimeter, establish a strict curfew, prohibit meetings between non-cohabitants in homes and restrict the maximum capacity in public spaces.
The goal, obviously, is to send a message of firmness. Are all those measures necessary everywhere? Probably not. Most likely they will only be where they were in fact already posted before the Council meeting.
Now, you had to send a radically different message from Christmas And it has been done: we are not going to mess it up now that we are vaccinating everyone and we are so close to reaching the end of the tunnel. The problem with these measures, as with all of them, is the ability of the various regional governments to enforce them … and the commitment of citizens to their compliance. When legislation is hinted to be capricious, people are somehow invited to skip it.
A common criticism, and not without meaning, to the restrictive measures of this Holy Week is that one You cannot travel to Madrid from Toledo but you can from Marseille.
Here again, the problem is the exception. Indeed, long ago we should have closed the borders completely by demanding negative diagnostic tests at origin and destination plus a quarantine of at least one week.
It is not reasonable that the center of the capital is filled with French in search of a little partying and at the same time families have to endure even a few more weeks to be reunited with their loved ones, even coming from places where the transmission of the virus is now highly controlled (which, by the way, is not the case in France).
This criticism, however, does not undermine what was approved. There’s a noticeable fear that we will read it again at Easter and it is a fear with a certain basis. From the outset, we know that the British variant is already predominant in practically all the autonomous communities. That may or may not pose a serious danger, but given the possibility, it is logical that we protect ourselves. If then it comes to nothing, much better.
It is possible that the predominance of this variant is the one behind the slight rebound that we are already seeing in some autonomous communities in its weekly incidence. At the moment, there are only five, but next week we will see a few more join this trend.
It is not the best time to mix, of course, nor is it the best time to legislate differently by region. If some communities have 14-day controlled incidents below 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and others are above 200, it is reasonable that we do not mix the population groups happily.
The debate there would be when exactly we are going to mix, because sooner or later it can be done. The closure of mobility must have an end point And, if we are waiting for everyone to drop below the alarm limits, we still have to wait sitting down because it can take us quite a long time.
¿This is justified by the prohibition of acts such as processions guaranteeing certain capacity measures within the municipalities themselves? It is not too complicated to think that this could have been worked on more, with a limitation of steps and assistants plus the necessary tests and quarantines to the corresponding carriers.
I suppose that, in turn, that would have caused internal fights to see what steps yes, what steps no, what capacity, how to control them, etc. The sharpest route has been chosen to avoid later regrets. If we have learned a lesson in this year of infamy, it is that no one wants to be guilty in public opinion anymore. And, deep down, that’s good news.
A new element of the legislation for Holy Week and the San José bridge that was not in the original State of Alarm is make national the prohibition of meetings in homes between non-cohabitants. It seems like a sensible decision, but again it all depends on its enforceability.
Otherwise, we would be facing a new appeal to individual responsibility and what that implies: just 5% irresponsible can ruin the work of the remaining 95%. If mobility between territories is a danger, mobility between households is much more so. I know that many people say that “why can’t I meet my parents / grandparents / uncles / nephews but people can go to a terrace to have a beer?” but even that has an explanation.
When legislating, legislating against the worst possible scenario. If you are going to meet with your family or friends and you are going to wear the mask, you are going to ventilate properly and you are not going to exceed the magic number of six people, congratulations.
Now, the legislator does not know if that is going to be the case because he cannot watch over him at home but on a terrace, in a movie theater, in a theater or in an office. At least I should be able to do it another thing is the effort that I put. We know that most infections occur in homes, even though the original contagion took place outside of them, without our knowing very well where because the tracking work leaves a lot to be desired in too many cases.
If we don’t want to mess it up, this time there are no authorities to blame: Taking advantage of the lack of mobility between communities to meet in one house and then in another and then in a third is a huge mistake that will end badly. The same applies to clandestine meetings in public places, in confidence that the police will never find out. Open spaces, social distance, masks … for once, we know what we have to do and the only thing that is asked of us is that we do what we have been doing for months.
If it is not done, with the addition of children constantly at home due to the closure of schools, something that has not gone well on other occasions, the rebound that we see now may turn into something more serious in April.