Back to the photos

In the (hopefully, not too distant) future, we will look back at photos from this year and know immediately they were taken during the "Covid era"

Rachel Haynes

Friday, 16 October 2020, 15:49


Every time I look at a photograph, any photograph - in the newspaper, on the internet, in my own albums, the same thoughts cross my mind. Look how close we all were together; look at that big group all squashed into the frame; look how no one's wearing a face mask.

We might not be able to put an exact date on the photos we see - this century, last century, pre-war, post-war, dictatorship, democracy - but we know immediately that the vast majority are pre-Covid.

Now, so used to seeing everyone wearing masks and to avoiding any contact or proximity, images of friends walking arm in arm, colleagues huddled around a computer screen or youngsters posing in the crowd at a concert, make one thing clear: those were the days before coronavirus.

And in the future (hopefully, not too distant), we will look back at photos from this year, with the ever-present masks and distancing, and know immediately they were taken during the "Covid era".

Now the new term has started, seeing children going to school in the morning as their parents go to work or the gym gives us a sense of normality, although things are far from normal.

Curfews in Paris, bars closed in Barcelona and partial lockdown in Madrid, among many other preventative restrictions brought in around the world, prove that these daily routines are once again in danger.

We'll still need a few more pages in our Covid-19 photo album yet.

Meanwhile though we can be reassured that some things are carrying on as normal pre- and post-Covid.

Even a global pandemic putting the population's health in danger has not been able to interfere with the political squabbling among Spain's political elite.

The last few weeks have brought us the usual arguments that have been around for decades and are unlikely to disappear in the foreseeable future.

The monarchy and Catalonia are themes that bounce back and any "debate" is unlikely to convince any of the sides of anything other than their own views.

Corruption has also bounced back this week in the form of the confirmation of the Gürtel sentences, and has given rise to further exchanges of insults between parties on the right and left, both accusing the other of being more corrupt.

But it's when the bickering concerns the health, the freedom of movement and the livelihoods of the general public that it becomes difficult to tolerate.

Experts do not always agree, of course, but to see our leaders making decisions apparently based on the advice that best suits their political ideology is frightening.

Perhaps they don't mind posing for photographs in their masks and not having to shake hands, but we'd like to see them all working together so we can take that big family photo as soon as possible.

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