The state of alarm announced last Saturday night will force around 46.6 million people, according to the government census, to spend their time in isolation completely alone.
There are only a few exceptions in regards to lockdown which include going to work, going to a supermarket, or going to a first necessity shop. However, even these activities should be done in complete isolation and socialisation is kept to a bare minimum.
It’s not an ideal situation, especially on the psychological level, and each household will confront the situation in their own way. Putting aside the different variables, not all of those households will be benefiting from the same kind of human support. Those who live alone will find themselves increasingly lonely.
Around 10% of Spaniards (26% of households) live alone, according to the Continuous Survey of Households which is published by the National Institute of Statistics. These figures have only been increasing during the years alongside another worrying factor, that each year the Spanish population is increasingly older. This means that many of those households who are obligated to sit through the quarantine alone, will inevitably be older with possible chronic illnesses. Furthermore, they will have more difficulties when using technology to stay in contact with friends or family.
Out of the approximately 4,732,000 people who live alone in Spain, almost half (43.1% of these) are older than 65.
850,000 are older than 80 and 662,000 of these are women.
2 million of the households in Spain are made up of elderly people who live completely alone, who will be obligated to spend each day in solitude without the comfort of seeing their loved ones.
A great majority of this bracket are widows. When looking at the number of people who live alone, Madrid is the largest community with single households, followed by Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante, Sevilla, and Malaga