The bet was that the hot summer would kill off the flu-like viral infection that was coming from the Orient to besiege Spain back in March this year.
The summer heat didn't disappoint either, with record-breaking temperatures to roast us, but the virus, having had a first wave that obliged us to stay inside for three months over the springtime, with Easter a bust, has returned with vigour for the summer-season. It likes heat, maybe.
Perhaps the initial sacrifice of staying home, avoiding the bars, losing (or furloughing) jobs, and buying crates of flour and lavatory paper proved too much. The economy must survive, said the bankers from their generally rather larger homes than those enjoyed by the masses. The tourists must come and keep our hotels full said the hoteliers. The Government, said the right-wing, doesn't have a clue. The tourists were allowed in from abroad, although not so many came. Domestic tourism made up some of the loss, but the visitors brought with them and mixed up the infection rates. Clubbers began to fall ill.
Now, with the tourist season proved to be largely a bust, with the end of the summer in sight and no reliable answers to the pandemic, we are again warned of another lockdown. With it (or indeed without it) the economy is facing a challenge. Expect a massive recession, lost jobs and, sooner-or-later, a far-right government to tell us that it was all the fault of the foreigners, the Jews, the coloured and the homosexuals.
These are short-term views and worries of a probable long-term situation. Tourism, as we know it, is dead for a long-time to come. Hotels cannot run on 25% occupancy, and neither can bars and restaurants. The question isn't when will they close, but will they ever re-open again sometime in the future?
People have discovered that they need no longer pay high city-rents, if they can work from home with a good broadband connection and use Zoom for conferences.
Office blocks - and their denizens - are becoming a thing of the past. Why not pay far less for a home in a small pueblo, with a garden and clean air, if you don't need to live and work in the city. Forget the shopping malls, you use Amazon anyway. Leave the dismal streets to the pan-handlers and the graffiti-artists.
Between the loss of business-rentals and ownership, as the unwilling banks take back more properties and try and accidentally burn down the odd skyscraper here and there for the insurance, coupled to the drop in tourism (why go out when the discos, theatres and cinemas are all shut?), the only bright light is the small and until now forgotten pueblos that make up most of Spain. They can be filled by well-healed residents who either work from home, or have a good pension.
To think that this extraordinary crisis is a short-term imposition is a mistake. The Corona - and maybe some others - will be around for a long time to come. Life won't ever again be the same as it was. Go get some more lavatory paper while you still can!