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COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Even with the start of the 'new normality' on 21 June 2020, popular fiestas and most large gatherings and events are still prohibited and social distancing guidelines still in force. Dates listed on this site, therefore, are still subject to cancellation or change and we will update, where we can, when any new information is made available.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Shrove Tuesday will not be a holiday in Santa Cruz, plus plans for Christmas & Los Reyes

Carnival Main Parade on Shrove Tuesday 2020

Mayor of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, José Manuel Bermúdez, has announced that Carnival Tuesday, which falls on February 16, 2021, will not be a holiday. The City Council is already considering different possibilities, which will have to be approved in plenary this month.

In an interview, José Manuel Bermúdez has admitted that having to suspend Carnival due to COVID-19 "does not feel good. It feels bad", and acknowledges that it has "hurt a lot" having to have made this decision, "but you could see it coming." The mayor emphasized that the data on infections have not improved and that the city is being affected by an obvious second wave: "Everything could get worse and there is nothing to indicate that mass events will be possible in February. We cannot guarantee the health security and, Carnival is not the same without being able to go out and make social contact of all kinds ".

He considers that next February there may be "nods" to Carnival, such as going to work in costume, but from his point of view, "holding events or private parties is irresponsible and we are going to be very vigilant," he warns.

Despite the suspension of the Carnival, José Manuel Bermúdez pointed out that Councilor for Fiestas, Alfonso Cabello, is working on a gala that can be televised nationally and internationally, with which "to keep the flame alive." "It seems that we were not so badly directed when the rest of the municipalities are suspending their carnivals too," he adds.

CHRISTMAS AND THE THREE KINGS


Regarding the Christmas and Three Kings campaign, the mayor announced that it will be different from other years, trying to comply with the COVID standards, although the streets will be lit and decorated as always "so that people can enjoy themselves, attract visitors, but respecting the COVID restrictions and in a more phased manner".

Bermúdez indicated that the City Council is already working on a program that they will present at the beginning of November and that it will begin with the traditional event of switching on the lights, but with a smaller format, added the mayor.

And as for January 5, he confirmed that the Three Wise Men will arrive in Santa Cruz: "Possibly by helicopter and we will look for a formula, discarding the traditional parade, so that they can greet some children, and of course we will hand them the keys to the city."

Monday, October 19, 2020

Hospital Universitario de Canarias Identifies Genes Associated With COVID Deaths

Hospital Universitario de Canarias Mataparda, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The study has focused on analyzing which genetic variants could be associated with the mortality of COVID-19 patients, has been coordinated by the Hospital Universitario de Canarias and six public hospitals in the Canary Islands have participated.

A study in the ICUs of Canarian hospitals has determined that some polymorphisms of the human leukocyte antigen HLA could be associated with the mortality of COVID-19 patients, as it plays a central role in the regulation of the immune response.

The work has been published in the scientific journal Medicina Intensiva and the Intensive Care Units of the HUC, Nuestra Señora de Candelaria University Hospital, Dr. Negrín University Hospital, Maternal-Infant Insular University Hospital Complex, José Molina Orosa Hospital of Lanzarote and General Hospital of La Palma.

The objective has been to determine if there is a relationship between HLA genetic polymorphisms and the susceptibility and mortality of patients with COVID-19, on the basis that genetic polymorphisms of human leukocyte antigens are associated with the risk and prognosis of immune and infectious diseases. 

HLA plays a central role in antigen presentation and, therefore, different polymorphisms could be involved in susceptibility to infectious diseases. Different HLA genetic polymorphisms have been associated with the predisposition and evolution of different infectious diseases such as the hepatitis B virus, the hepatitis C virus or tuberculosis.

3,886 healthy people and 72 COVID-19 patients admitted to the ICU were included in the study and these genetic HLA polymorphisms have been determined. The genetic analysis of the HLA of the patients has been carried out in the Clinical Immunology Laboratory of the HUC. Researchers have found a higher rate of certain alleles (alternative forms that the same gene can have) in COVID-19 patients than in healthy controls.

The results of this preliminary study with a small sample size suggest that certain HLA genetic polymorphisms could be associated with the mortality of COVID-19 patients. The intensivist and coordinator of the study, Leonardo Lorente, believes this multicenter study could help to optimize the use of healthcare resources, selecting the patients who could benefit the most from vaccination and certain treatments.

Taste San Miguel De Abona Tapas Route

Taste San Miguel De Abona

After a lot of work during the last 2 months (Project design, administrative procedures, dissemination of the project, appointments with the restaurateurs, photographing the tapas ...), the IX SABOREA SAN MIGUEL DE ABONA has begun. This year, 2020, being a totally different year to the past editions of the Project Taste San Miguel De Abona, with the sanitary restrictions that limit the celebration of any event, is why there were no activities or events in the first week of the Project (October 9-15), despite trying until the last minute. 

Therefore, this year there is just the IX RUTA DE LA TAPA (Tapas Route), taking place between 16 October and 7 November. (Yes, the route already started on Friday, but we've only just come across the listing and didn't want you to miss it entirely.)

All of the participating restaurants - it's an eclectic mix - are listed in the book that is traditionally produced each year. This year the book is in in digital format only, in order to respect current health regulations and you can download the Saborea San Miguel De Abona 2020 book (in both Spanish and English) here. (Via)

Tapas Route

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Queues in Santa Cruz to pick up a bag of food - how one charity is dealing with COVID-19

África Fuentes and volunteers. Image: AAVV Sociocultural García Escámez ONG

The NGO run by África Fuentes, in the García Escámez neighbourhood, of the Tenerife capital, attends to about 400 people who come in search of food every Friday.

It's half past ten in the morning. The queue goes around the Mercado de la Abejera. Hundreds of people wait patiently for the charity, over which presides, África Fuentes, in García Escámez, to begin the distribution of food that, every Friday, allows some 400 families to take some food home. The virus concerns them. They all wear a mask and try to keep their distance, often without success. But hunger worries them more. 

Eggs, lentils, tuna, rice… These are just some of the products in the boxes. Today there is no milk, no gofio. "It's what we need most now, because with a cup of milk and a little gofio you can make a meal," says África, who, at 85, says she is not afraid of COVID-19, "either the virus  kills me, or old age does ”. They begin the distribution. Worn shopping carts or simple grocery bags are used to collect food. Everyone waits patiently for their number that the volunteers have given them upon arrival depending on whether they have "papers" or not.

Juan Manuel Vega Fachi is the coordinator of the NGO. "We serve about 400 people a week, both those who are referred by social services and those who are not." They try to attend, at least, everyone with a referral from social services. “We're all interested in them coming with papers in order, because that means we can access more food”.

The coordinator details that they have tables where user data is collated. "If we see that they have been coming for several weeks without justification, we warn them that the next time we will not be able to help them." One of the volunteers voices it along the queue: "if you don't bring the appointment from the social worker, we can't give you more food." Many of those who are waiting look at each other without quite understanding what that means.

Fachi says that about 50 new people come every week. It is the effect of the pandemic. "We calculate that only we, every month, serve about 1,600 people, but if you multiply that figure by the members of each of the families we could be talking about more than 3,000."

To the question of what they need, the answer is obvious: food. “We ask large companies that if they have items that they are going to throw away, but that are still within date, then give it to us, we will distribute it. The food bank only supplies us with food on the first and third Thursday of each month, so the rest runs out quickly”. Thanks to companies like Jesumán, says Fachi, “we have dairy products such as yogurts or cheeses. But, for example, we also need baby food or milk for babies ”. Today they got a batch of cold meats and almost everyone can take home some ham.

As for the profile of those who attend, "they are people without work and many do not even have a house in which to cook some eggs," says the coordinator. “We have had to put some boxes in the surroundings - he continues - so that they can leave the food they do not want there, because we have detected that there are people who do not even have a house and if you give them something to cook, it is of no use to them ”.

África Fuentes adds that the majority of those who come without papers are Venezuelans or Cubans who have been in Tenerife for a few months, and have not yet been able to regularize their situation. "I can't tell those people to leave," she defends. "I do not give them food from the EU, because that is for those who have everything in order, but I give them food from the donations made to us." She adds that "I always have this fight with the administrations, and I always tell him the same thing, you don't need papers to eat."

The queue of those who do not yet have such derivation ratifies the words of Fuentes. Among them, a 68-year-old man, of Cuban origin and with Spanish nationality. He has been on the island for two years. “We are my wife and I. With the money that a niece from the United States sends me, and some work that my wife does, we are subsisting ”, he explains. He says he wants to go to live with his niece, "but everything is closed." Beside him, another man agrees with him.

Yet another woman (most of the queue are) is Spanish by birth and came from Venezuela a year ago. Her daughter studies thanks to a scholarship and she is looking for work. "My daughter has to train, to look for work." At 64, she is confident that she will get some work or that the minimum living income will improve the situation, but she also criticizes that the administrations are not responding as quickly as they should and points to the queue in front of her. She lives in El Rosario and gets to García Escámez as best she can.

That is precisely one of the requests of África Fuentes. "They are people without income, and if they have to buy a bus ticket on top of that, it is food that they take away, so we ask that they give more travel cards, which we do not always have. África says that the first thing she does in the morning is to see who to call and appreciates the response she receives, especially from la Caixa. She also thanks the City Council for all the help they give her.

It is almost noon now and the line continues. The volunteers themselves recognize that the Local Police will not take long to appear to remind them of compliance with anti-covid measures. África, at the head of the line, supervises the delivery of food and reminds the journalist not to forget to mention that they need donations "milk and gofio", she repeats.

Africa Fuentes has received a Gold Medal for Civil Merit and Favorite Daughter of Tenerife, for her work at the head of the García Escámez NGO. The first was received from the hands of the King and the second was delivered by the Cabildo. She keeps saying that she doesn't do anything special. "If it is in my power, no one would be left without eating." And that is one of the things that differentiates her, she attends equally to those who come with papers than to those who do not, because, as she repeats, "you don't need papers to eat."

Friday, October 16, 2020

Pinolere Crafts Fair 2020 The Hidden Smile

Pinolere Artisan Fair and Canarian Cheese Fair 2020

As announced in July the Asociación Cultural Pinolere have, this year, fused the 35th Pinolere Crafts Fair with the 10th Canary Islands Cheese Fair to hold a joint event on November 6, 7 and 8, 2020, which will take place both in person as well as online. 

Under the masks there is life and the desire to move forward in a difficult time. This is what the image of this year's poster for the XXXV edition of the Pinolere Crafts Fair aims to reflect, which is not dedicated to any specific island or trade, but rather to the real protagonists; the artisans and cheesemakers with transparent masks to show that there is joy under them.

Under the title 'Pinolere: the hidden smile of crafts and cheese', the exhibition will take place on 6, 7 and 8 November in the ethnographic park with the participation of 180 artisans from all over the Canary Islands, a very high number given the number of applications submitted. And for the first time it will be held together with the X Canary Cheese Fair.

The fair will not be held in the same way as previous years, there will be no shop, activities or workshops but a "showcase" of artisans who will be able to interact with buyers in person and virtually, since one of the novelties of this year is that both modalities are combined.

These details were released by the manager of the Pinolere Cultural Association, Jesús García; the mayor of La Orotava, Francisco Linares; and the island councilor for Employment, Socio-economic Development and Foreign Action of the Cabildo de Tenerife, Carmen Luz Baso. The three agreed that it was the most complex, complicated and difficult edition ”but they valued the commitment to celebrate it to support the artisanal sector, one of the most affected by the economic crisis derived from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If in normal times it is difficult to make a living from crafts, it is even more so in current times, declared Linares, who described the holding of this event as“ absolute bravery ”. "The easy thing would have been to suspend it," he stressed.

The organization guarantees that it will be a safe and responsible meeting since it has passed "all the filters" and has an anti-contagion plan. Thus, there will be two schedules, from 10:00 to 14:00 and from 15:00 to 19:00, and tickets must be purchased online, choosing the slot in which they will attend to control the capacity.

The event will be held outdoors in a space of 10,000 square meters, with capacity control, safety distance, a single entrance and exit. In addition, a circuit will be established to be able to visit all the artisans' stands, the use of a mask will be mandatory and hydroalcoholic gel will be provided in each space.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Second Maid of Honour to the Junior Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2020

Second Maid of Honour

Second Maid of Honour to the Junior Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz 2020 is María Eugenia Meza Barbuzano, with a design entitled, ‘Mil historias’ (A thousant stories) designed by Sedomir Rodríguez de la Sierra, representing Tomás Meza Clínica Dental.

There will be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021, although the City Council is working with the Carnival groups in the design of some activities that can maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated



María Eugenia Meza Barbuzano | Gala Reina Infantil | S/C Tenerife 2020

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Arroz de otoñal (Autumnal rice)

Arroz de otoñal (Autumnal rice)

After the delicacies of spring and the fruit and vegetable explosion of summer, autumn can seem like a sad season, in which the rain arrives and the good tomatoes disappear. However, the season heralds the return of a some fantastic products, ideal for the dishes you crave when it starts to get chilly. (Chilly, of course being a relative term in Tenerife!)

Ingredients:

100 gr chestnut mushrooms 
100 gr shiitake mushrooms 
100 gr oyster mushrooms 
1 small can/jar of roasted red peppers (chopped)
1 chorizo 
2 cups rice 
4 cups meat or vegetable stock 
garlic 
parsley 
saffron 
salt 
extra virgin olive oil

Method:

Put a little extra virgin olive oil in a pan and add some peeled and sliced garlic cloves, the chopped chorizo, roasted peppers and the cleaned and chopped mushrooms. Sauté. In a mortar, crush a little salt, a clove of garlic, a sprig of parsley, and a few threads of saffron.

When the mushrooms are softened, add two cups of rice, stir and add the four cups of stock. Add the mash from the mortar, stir and cook for twenty minutes. Turn off the heat, cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest for five minutes. Serve hot accompanied with a good wine.

El Mercado Municipal de La Laguna con la cocina de otoño: Arroz de otoñal

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife is stopped, yet it had dealt with adversity since 1778

Daytime Carnival in the Plaza de Candelaria

After many decades of celebration, the pandemic forces the suspension the Santa Cruz Carnival, though the party has been able to deal with adversity since 1778

"It does not seem prudent to deprive them of this party to which they are accustomed," the then mayor of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, José María de Villa, ended up understanding in 1814, showing an unexpected tolerance on the part of someone who, 11 years before, had prohibited masks, both in public and in private homes.

Villa was not the first nor, of course, the last representative of the established powers in more than two centuries who sought to stop the people of Santa Cruz from celebrating their Carnival, that libertine escape valve that compensates them for a whole year. Despite the repression or calamity, the people knew how to preserve this festival that was already recorded in 1778 and that has become the watchword of the city throughout the world.

Now, a microscopic but fearsome enemy, the coronavirus, which has turned everything upside down, has forced the suspension of mass dances in the street next year and, therefore, the Carnival itself. Something that even the Franco dictatorship did not achieve, and that puts an end to 83 uninterrupted years, given that it is necessary to go back to the harsh reality of the interwar period, in 1937, to find the previous suspension.

From the hand of the official chronicler of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, José Manuel Ledesma, we know of those first dances that the town's bourgeoisie began to celebrate in their homes while the townspeople had fun in the street. It was at the end of the 18th century and, as now, they had their reason for being in creating occasions for men and women to relate to each other. “The women -covered-, covering their faces with the clouds of their veils, approached the gallants to pedir la feria (ask for the fair), that is, to request a gift, which led to the beginning of a conversation. While the men - cloaked -, hiding their identity by turning up the collar of their cloak and under the shadows of the brim of their hats, took advantage of this moment to show their gallantry to the ladies ”, relates Ledesma.

The then developing Santa Cruz festival soon ran up against the authorities and, as dressing up in Carnivals was not well seen by the civil authority and even less by the religious one, in 1792, to avoid and prevent scandals, groups began prohibit this practice, a repression that, to a greater or lesser extent, threatened the Carnival practically until it became official in 1961 under the name of Winter Festivities.

This was the case throughout the nineteenth century, with examples such as the aforementioned mayor who, upon arrival, wanted to end these diversions and ended up assuming the unwavering popular will to maintain this festival. If Villa understood that "the person who disguises himself has never caused disorder, since the docility and restraint of the neighborhood of this town is well known, which is why it does not seem prudent to deprive him of this party to which they are accustomed", others like him General Commander Carlos O´Donnell (father of the former President of the Spanish Government, Leopoldo O´Donnell), did not get into the saga. Thus, when another mayor, Nicolás González Sopranis, asked the military to prohibit carnivals, they replied that "this is a peaceful town and it will be enough for some patrols to guard and keep order." This form of repression lasted until 1838, the year in which sanctions were hardened, details the official chronicler.

"In the early years of the twentieth century, the prohibitions were still maintained, but with a policy of tolerance, more or less enforced, while costume balls continued to be celebrated in societies, albeit behind closed doors". It is in 1931, in the middle of the Second Spanish Republic, when the Carnivals were finally declared Official Holidays of Santa Cruz, with for the first time a commission of Carnival Festivities. Wars came, which led to the aforementioned suspension of 1937, and the dictatorship, so that from the following year Carnival had to be celebrated clandestinely.

The level of repression depended on the civil governor on duty, but, Ledesma clarifies, "most of them, after publishing the relevant prohibitions, left the city with the excuse of an unavoidable trip to the south of the island", to the joy of the carnival goers in the capital.

Finally, the union of forces between another civil governor, Manuel Ballesteros, Bishop Domingo Pérez Cáceres and the head of tourism, Opelio Rodríguez Peña, ended up overcoming Franco's suspicion with the so-called Winter Festivities, a step prior to the great transformation of Carnival, which, with democracy, grew to be the great international party that it is today, and which it will continue to be despite everything.

Monday, October 12, 2020

National Day of Spain 2020

Fiesta Nacional de España / National Day of Spain

The Government and the Royal Household are finalizing the act of commemoration of the National Holiday on Monday the 12th, which for the first time in decades will not be celebrated with a great parade through the center of Madrid but will be replaced by an austere military act in the Plaza de la Armería of the Royal Palace.

Traditionally, the Fiesta Nacional de España on October 12 is celebrated with a great military parade through the streets of Madrid, with the participation of thousands of members of the Armed Forces, military vehicles and planes; It is followed by a reception in the Royal Palace attended by the powers of the State, former presidents of the Government and representatives of the economic, university and civil society world. However, this year all these events have been altered by the pandemic and the Government and the Royal House have been working for months on an alternative that complies with the health regulations imposed by Covid-19. The entire organization will be pending until the last minute on the evolution of the virus in Madrid and the measures adopted to prevent its spread.

The plan includes holding a military act in the courtyard of the Royal Palace - where the tribute to the victims of the coronavirus was held - presided over by the king and with the Government and the main authorities of the State, including regional presidents.

The event is expected to include a military endowment and a tribute to the flag. It is also expected that the Patrulla Águila, the acrobatic unit of the Spanish Air Force, will draw the colors of the flag in the sky of Madrid, according to the organization. It has also been contemplated that the Legion has some prominence, since 2020 is their centenary and the commemoration that it had planned has also been greatly altered by the coronavirus.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Tenerife Carnival Dates for 2022

Carnaval 2017 Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Photo: Jose Mesa. Some Rights Reserved

Whilst we would normally wait until after the 2021 carnival to list the dates of the 2022 carnival, now having learned that carnival won't be taking place in 2021, we could all probably do with something to look forward to. There are no guarantees, as we have no idea how long the current health situation will last, but if it's possible, we'll be ready.

Of course, we also have no idea if the previous normal schedule of events will be adhered to again in future, even if the carnival can go ahead then, but Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2022, if it does go ahead on the 'normal' dates, would be as follows: 

Inauguration on Fri 28 Jan 2022, then contests would run from the following Thu 3 Feb 2022, until their climax with the Election of the Carnival Queen on Wed 23 Feb 2022. Carnival may then take to the streets (if it can) from the Opening Parade on Fri 25 Feb 2022, with the Main Parade on Shrove Tue 1 Mar 2022, through to Sun 6 Mar 2022.

Make a potential space, but definitely only use pencil in your diary.

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