Monday, January 24

📩 NEWSLETTER | Party in, mask out

To get vaccinated, to get mask on the street already enjoy the party. If someone is a positive contact, there is no need to quarantine. We are vaccinated, so Merry Christmas, we deserve it. That’s the message that has come out of the highly anticipated meeting between the autonomous communities and the Government, called by Pedro Sánchez.

Spain is going to do for now like that omicron, that spreads at an alarming rate, does not exist: he faces the sixth wave as if it were another wave of the virus as we knew it, although with the optimism of being vaccinated. “We are not in March 2020 or Christmas 2020,” said Sánchez.

The president arrived at the meeting with recommendations from the technicians of the Ministry of Health that were much more drastic: capacity limits, early closing hours and even stopping the activity in restaurants and nightlife. This is what other European countries are doing, but none of this has been approved, we do not know if because Moncloa has stopped believing in these types of measures, if because it has been impossible to reach an agreement with the regional presidents or if it is intended that they are the ones who are burned by approving restrictions tougher in the next few days. In case they serve as a clue, two details: Pedro Sánchez has come out in public after the meeting to defend the measures vehemently, without the regrets of those who have failed in a negotiation. And this phrase: “Each community, within the scope of its powers, can make those decisions,” he said when asked about the limited capacity at meetings or on premises.

Mandatory mask

Reimposing the mandatory mask on the street is controversial. We know that it is not something especially effective because most of the contacts occur indoors, which are not touched, although it has always been said that its permanent use raises our guard against the virus psychologically and makes us more prudent in general. The measure, especially because it is accompanied by almost nothing else, is receiving a lot of criticism from both experts and parliamentary allies of the Government. And Vox is going to get oil out of the matter: Abascal announces that he will not put it on.

Seniors without a window

The elderly are having a hard time doing simple paperwork such as obtaining a Covid passport, and it is not the only case where digitization leaves them excluded. In banks or administrations, where there used to be a person, there is now a “do your procedure online” sign.

Today on the podcast, we listen to several elders, like Pepi and Carlos, who tell us about the difficulties they face in a world that ignores those who are not digitized.

The operations of the PP

Today we carry interview with Francisco Igea, who has just been dismissed as vice president of Castilla y León in the government crisis caused by the PP to advance elections. He sees Casado’s interests and corruption trials as detonating of the operation.

  • Rajoy and Cospedal. It is not that they are disinterested conclusions, but neither are they crazy: at the proposal of the PSOE, Congress has approved as a deduction from the commission of investigation on Operation Kitchen that Mariano Rajoy and Cospedal ordered to use the Police to cover up corruption in the PP.

Don’t let it pass you

The Wire. The Tax Agency has used for years outdated software for wiretapping narcos and fraudsters. Bravo.

Bitcoin is a digital currency that democratizes wealth regulation, except that 25% of bitcoins actually is in the hands of just 10,000 billionaires. A concentration of wealth 100 times greater than that of real money.

The labor reform, ready. Last night they were negotiating and this morning the bosses and unions have gathered their leaderships to perhaps give it the final touch and the final green light. Let’s see if they sing El Gordo this morning.

Things i didn’t know

He did not know who in the Netherlands believe that their Santa Claus, Sinterklaas, comes from Spain. Specifically from Alicante. Every December, a steamboat lands on the Dutch shores loaded with Galicians that the Sinsterklass helpers launch at the people. And watch out what they call the ‘pages’: Pedritos, based on the figure of’Black peter‘, probably a slave, who takes children who misbehave.

Did not know the stories about the origin of the lottery. In China, games similar to bingo were common in the 2nd century BC. In Ancient Rome, prizes were given randomly to party guests. But as I read in The World Order, the first modern references in Europe are from the 15th century and the first state to use the lottery to collect taxes was the United Kingdom in 1567.

Did not know the existence of these strange plastic-like necklaces that have turned up on Italian beaches. They are ‘walls’ built with mucus and sand by marine ‘moon snails’, which lay their eggs on the inner face and then dig in the sand to get out of the center. More images in this Twitter thread.

Tomorrow we will see each other again and so we wish each other a Merry Christmas and stuff.

A hug