13 February 2022: Mask-wearing; Higher min wage; SERGAS challenges; Unmacho men; & Other stuff.

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Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable
Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain’


The endorsement of masking by medical bodies and public health authorities worldwide entailed the abandonment of a longstanding view that masks were a useless and even harmful intervention. But did they work?  . . . One unequivocal answer: Mask mandates have had little to no demonstrable impact on curbing the spread of the virus.

Call me a cynic but I’ve always suspected the motives behind Covid measures had more to do with political survival than mortality or healthcare statistics. So I wasn’t surprised to read that: It is not difficult to see why mask mandates proved irresistible to politicians. They are the perfect form of hygiene theatre . . . They also offload responsibility for controlling the pandemic to ordinary people. The overcrowding of ICUs can be blamed on the bad behavior of “anti-maskers”, rather than on the allocation of resources by governments and hospital CEOs. When cases and deaths spike, it is the fault of the citizenry, not the leadership.

Cosas de España/Galiza

Someone has reservations about the latest hike in Spain’s minimum wage and – here – makes some good points about how the economy operates here. Or doesn’t.

Where have Spain’s macho men gone? I wonder about this because I clock so many men on Pontevedra city’s streets walking tiny dogs, with coats on. The dogs, not the men.

A nice Guardian article on the re-emerging village of Aceredo, here in Galicia 

I’ve been trying to get a new Covid certificate, as commanded by the Galician health service. SERGAS. This has proved as difficult online as folk have been complaining about, one reason (for me) being that some sites seem to be only in Gallego. In the end, I gave up and will go to their offices in Pontevedra city to get my essential online digital key – my Chave365. Which is, of course, different from the one(s) I need for the Tráfico and the Hacienda.

There’s village in North Galicia called Bretoña. It’s named after British monks who settled there in the 7th century. Though there’s no memorial to them in the place. And no one  knows whether these Brits came from Gran Bretaña or Pequeña Bretaña(Brittany). Anyway, here’s something relevant that I’ve just discovered in my Bookmarks.

The UK  

So, not only in Spain . . . There are only 23,000 legal e-scooters in the UK and they’re confined to certain roads. But over a million have been sold and riders there also injure and even kill both themselves and others when riding illegally on pavements(sidewalks). The police, as here, appear not to be interested in this phenomenon.


Italy feels like another world now. Masks are worn everywhere — even on the street. It is near impossible to order a drink in a café without proof of vaccination.

Social Media/Quote of the Day

I think the way social media promotes a very simplistic, binary, antagonistic notion of identity that destroys nuance and truth in all complex conversations is only going to get worse. God forbid.

The Way of the World 

After a reading a review that suggested a comedy series – The Estate Agents – was hilarious, I watched the first episode. But didn’t laugh once. Is it me?

Finally . . .

Early readers yesterday might have been confused by a typo that a reader alerted me to. The sentence should have read: The letter V is the only one in English NEVER to be silent.  

I recently wrote that I thought I’d seen a Dacia Edgy in town. But it was was surely a Lodgy. Still a stupid name.

For new reader(s): If you’ve landed here looking for info on Galicia or Pontevedra, try here. If you’re passing through Pontevedra on the Camino, you’ll find a guide to the city there.