‘Watched mum work without masks, gloves… how could I stay at home?’

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Updated: April 14, 2020 10:48:12 pm


Spanish footballer Antonio Rodriguez Dovale on working as a pharmacist. (Special Arrangement)

Written by Antonio Rodriguez Dovale

In Spain, we’re all the time out. Hanging out with associates after work, grabbing a beer, going out for tapas and having late dinners — later even than the Indians. Our streets are by no means empty. Restaurants are by no means shut. People are by no means house. That’s our tradition. It defines our society. But proper now, it’s all closed; all gone. And it received’t come again for a very long time. You can sense the worry and unease as a result of us Spaniards should not made to reside in this sort of scenario.

Hundreds of individuals have been dying each day in Spain for the reason that outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic right here. We had been all very pleased with our well being system, satisfied it was the perfect on this planet. We by no means anticipated it’ll collapse like this. We by no means anticipated one thing so simple as a face masks won’t be accessible. People are dying alone. Is there something extra heartbreaking than the truth that you possibly can’t even have your family members subsequent to you when you’re dying? It’s a really unhappy scenario. And scary.

Six weeks in the past, I had my luggage packed and was prepared to depart for Southeast Asia, the place I was near signing for a membership and start the brand new season. Ever since graduating from La Masia, the fabled Barcelona academy, and enjoying for Celta Vigo for nearly 5 seasons, I have been crisscrossing world wide, together with India the place I performed for Bengaluru FC and East Bengal. I have actually loved enjoying in Asia so I was trying ahead to the brand new season, which begins in March within the South Eastern area.

Suddenly, although, issues began to get severe. Thailand and Malaysia began imposing strict restrictions on guests from Europe and inside days, Spain introduced a lockdown. That was a brand new scenario not only for me, however for everyone. We all simply needed to stay at house. Only pharmacy and supermarkets had been open.

Just earlier than I had joined Bengaluru FC in 2017, I had accomplished my pharmacy course. My household owns a pharmacy round 10 minutes from our house within the coastal metropolis of A Coruña, within the northwest of Spain. My mom runs the pharmacy. She is 65 years outdated – within the age group that places her at excessive threat. I was watching my mum working within the pharmacy without masks, without gloves serving to folks… how could I stay at house? (She has not even been residing in the identical room as my father since this started due to the chance).

So I joined her at the pharmacy. For six weeks, I have been assembly people who find themselves scared and confused. They don’t know what is correct for them, and what will probably be secure to make use of. For occasion, until now the federal government was saying a masks wasn’t wanted. That was as a result of we didn’t have sufficient of them. So no matter amount we had, these had been made accessible for the medical workers.

But this week, they’re saying masks are wanted to guard ourselves from the virus. People don’t know what to anticipate. Every day there may be new info, which is reverse to the day earlier than. So I can see the worry amongst folks, particularly the older ones.

The panic is principally for gadgets like masks, gloves and hand sanitiser as a result of the availability could be very restricted. I spend quite a lot of my time speaking to producers and suppliers of this stuff however the demand could be very excessive. People, in reality, should not shopping for anything as a result of they’re additionally turning into smarter in spending their cash, understanding there may be going to be an enormous financial affect of this. After years of monetary issues and excessive unemployment charges, the scenario was simply beginning to get higher. But once we open up once more, we won’t go from zero to 100 rapidly. It will take time to recuperate for the enterprise, eating places, providers, motels…

As for me and the thousands and thousands of footballers in Spain, we’re ready for issues to get regular in order that the game can start once more. Right now, I am spending eight-nine hours at the pharmacy each day. But within the morning, I be certain that I do my exercises at house. I have purchased massive gallons of water and I use them as weights. I am additionally fortunate that I have an enormous parking house so I can run there. It’s rudimentary stuff, however I be certain that I practice as a result of as soon as issues get regular, I need to journey and play once more.

I miss soccer a lot proper now. I really feel pleased with serving to my folks. I am, nonetheless, lacking soccer deeply. So until I can begin enjoying once more, this isn’t simply the perfect factor I can do, however the one factor I can do.

Dovale, 30, is a Spanish footballer who has performed for Indian golf equipment like Bengaluru FC and East Bengal. He has been working as a pharmacist in A Coruna throughout the coronavirus disaster. He spoke to Mihir Vasavda.

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