A SAFE HAVEN IN SPAIN
Several media outlets have reported on the remarkable situation of Zahara de la Sierra, an isolated mountain town in southern Spain. As of three days ago, there has not been a single case of COVID-19 among the 1,500 residents – this despite Spain’s grim status as a pandemic hotspot in Europe.
On March 14, the town’s mayor Santiago Galván ordered the closure of four of the five entrances to the town. At the only open entrance, men in protective gear disinfect every vehicle that enters. And twice a week, a team of volunteers disinfect all streets and public areas in the municipality. The Mayor’s actions generally have the support of the population, especially since approximately 25% of residents are 65 or older. The COVID-19 mortality rate is markedly higher for individuals in that age group. By comparison, only 18% of Spain’s total population is 65 or older.
The history of Zahara de la Sierra can be traced back to the 13th Century, when the Moors built a castle and lookout tower there. Today, tourists often visit the town as a start-off point for a venture into the nearby verdant gorge known as Garganta Verde.
HONOR EVERYONE, both volunteers, neighbors, and workers. We are doing very well, we all support what we can and together we are going to beat this bug.The Zahara de la Sierra Instagram Account
Spain currently has the most confirmed COVID-19 infections (135,032) and the second most COVID-19 fatalities (13,169) in all of Europe. However, there are indications that the nationwide lockdown is slowing the spread of the disease. Spain’s Health Ministry recorded only 1,279 new cases on Monday, the smallest increase in the past three weeks.