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Coronavirus: Why Did Things Go So Wrong In Spain?


Spain got time, saw what happened in China, in Iran, in Italy. The country was ranked in a survey last year for the world’s healthiest.

So what went so wrong?

Over 800 now die per day in the corona virus in Spain.

The last major convention center Ifema in Madrid was the center of events was in December when Spain hosted a climate summit, Cop25. Greta Thunberg was one of the speakers.

Ifema is back in the headlines. But now as a fast-built corona hospital with room for 5 500 corona patients. The places are filled up. An ice rink has been transformed into a mortuary.

For Spain is bad looking. As late as this weekend, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced that the restrictions will be tightened further, only those with critical work may continue to do so. The rest should stay at home.

The last few days have been extra dark. 812 dead the last day, 838 the day before, 832 the day before.

With Monday’s figures on new cases of infection, Spain has now also passed China’s official figures, over 85,000.

Spain has accelerated even faster than Italy in the end. So how did it get so bad?

The crisis has come as a shock to many Spaniards. The country’s health and medical services may not have been the best in the world but are still on the top 20 list. The country has more healthcare beds than Sweden (we are at the bottom of the OECD countries).

Spain even peaked last year on the Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index, a compilation that weighs in factors such as life expectancy, overweight, smoking and retrieves data from the UN, WHO et cetera.

In short, Spain should have been properly equipped. But the country’s authorities and the Spaniards themselves took a long time to calm down the coronas, even though they saw it creeping closer.

But Italy – the country with the first major outbreak in Europe, does not border Spain. Italy’s neighboring countries have managed the corona center better so far.

“Spain will only have a handful of cases,” thought Fernando Simon, head of emergency care in Madrid on February 9.

A triggering factor for Spain – so sure that comprehensive analyzes will be made – is believed to be a football match in Milan on February 19 when Valencia met the Bergamo team Atalanta.

Bergamo is one of the worst hit cities in Italy. The infection was already there. 2,500 Valencia fans were in place. Several of them brought home the corona virus.

Like other Spaniards had done. In Sweden, no outdoor cafés or bars are open in February or early March. We have no culture of intense night and night life.

It has the Spaniards. And spring was unusually warm in Spain. So the bars and cafes were very crowded in Madrid when the infection probably began to spread.

The situation was already bad in Italy when there was a big event in Madrid on International Women’s Day on March 8. Ministers from Spain’s fragile government – the Socialists and the left-wing populist Podemos – were in place. Several of them became infected.

The Spaniards are also a people who can rightly be proud that they do not forget their old ones. The ties between the generations are often strong. Socializing close.

But it may also have contributed to the tragedy. As usual, many people visited their parents or relatives at the elderly homes without knowing that they were infected. And there the disease began to spread.

Spain has had several cases of mass death at an old age home. The staff has not met the challenges. In some cases, the military found the old people in their beds. Kill. Abandoned.

Sometimes the family has sounded alarm. Yolanda Cumia lost her father at a home for the elderly and a woman in the staff told her:

– Yolanda, we can’t help. As far as I know, we have 15 dead.


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