Senior citizens in residential care homes in Madrid and Tarragona this week have enjoyed their first outing in a year. The excursions are a milestone in what has been an incredibly difficult year of isolation and continuous restrictions for care home residents due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
To date (24 Feb), Spain has administered 3,284,678 jabs of the Covid-19 vaccine, of which 1,221,183 people have received a second jab. Most of the 1.2m people who have received two jabs are nursing home residents and their care workers.
Residents from numerous care homes in Madrid were invited for a further dose of medicine – laughter – on Wednesday. Dozens of mini-buses lined the street of the city’s ‘broadway’, Gran Vía, after shuttling the seniors to the EDP theatre.
EDP theatre managers expressed their delight in sharing the venue’s 2nd year anniversary with such a special audience. They stated: ‘We could not think of a better way to carry out this celebration than by offering the opportunity to enjoy culture to those who have suffered the most during the pandemic.’
The 176 seniors and 50 care workers took their seats – following the protocol of social distancing and face masks – to a monologue delivered by comedian Santi Rodríguez. The show provided comic relief in what was the first outing in a tough year of confinement and tragic loss due to the pandemic.
Meanwhile in Tarragona, elderly citizens living in a care home were invited on a trip to see the Mediterranean. In a combined initiative by the Alzina de Cunit residence and the City Council of Cunit, seniors boarded the tourist train of the coastal municipality.
According to the mayor, the outing was a ‘necessary’ action, and permitted 50 residents from two different bubbles of co-existence to enjoy the beach views and sea air for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.
When the vaccination campaign began in December, the Spanish government estimated that between 47-50% of deaths during the first wave of the pandemic had occurred in nursing homes. The outings in Madrid and Tarragona have been widely received as an injection of life and hope for care home residents, the demographic which has been affected most by the impact of Covid-19.