surinenglish

THE BOTTOM LINE

Other people's virus

The balconies of an average street in Spain are currently providing an excellent cross-section of our society.

There are balconies that applaud every day, without fail, enthusiastic, starting even before the clock strikes eight.

There are balconies displaying children's crayon drawings of rainbows and recently learned handwriting, telling us that everything will be all right.

There are balconies that rarely open because their occupants are too busy working, just as they were before, but now from home.

Others don't open either - they've got enough problems inside that they don't want to share with the world.

And there are others who appear unaware of reality, happy in their own cloud cuckoo lands.

But there are also dark balconies, which show the worst of society. Balconies overflowing with envy (this nation's great vice), disrespectful and rude, judges with no law, who keep watch and convict on hearsay, who shout and hurl insults at anyone they believe is not complying with confinement regulations to the letter.

It breaks your heart to hear stories like that of a mother, who is scared to go out for a walk with her autistic children, even though this is permitted by law, for fear of being insulted. The same might happen to a doctor or a nurse out of uniform on their way to or from the hospital... or to a journalist colleague who is doing her job with no uniform to prove it. The balcony Stasi, ever vigilant like the classic curtain-twitching neighbour, shows no remorse and makes true the saying about the speck and the log, always looking out for others' wrongdoing, rather than doing right themselves.

If you're frustrated, which is only normal and logical under the current circumstances, take it out on the politicians when they appear on the television - that's what they're there for. But do us a favour - keep inside your own balconies and leave the other people's virus in peace.