Tuesday, August 3

Hobbies left by the pandemic

They discovered hobbies in impossible times lockdown and restrictions. They have turned their lives upside down, or rather, the way they did them, and those habits have stayed. For now, until now.

The Vigo engineer David Usera and his girlfriend, the doctor Marta Rodríguez decided to listen to his most supportive voice and turned their house, an apartment in Vigo, into refuge of pets during the pandemic. Specifically, cats. The first one they welcomed arrived in full confinement. Your foster home, as an intermediate step between abandonment of the animal and the arrival of a definitive adoption family continued to receive cat tenants.

“We had thought about taking in cats before, but we didn’t decide until the pandemic hit. We knew that the protectors needed help and we decided to put a stop to them during the confinement “

David Usera – Engineer


Vigo engineer David Usera and doctor Marta Rodríguez, at home with their foster cat.

“We offered ourselves as a shelter for cats with the Animal Protection Association“ Os Biosbardos ”. And we had a very small cat first, which was already adopted by a young couple, so we gave it up ”.

David shows a photo of a stray cat with a protector around his neck because when he got home he had otitis and, from scratching his ears so much, he injured himself. “But, just a week later, we received another one that we are still with”acknowledges the engineer. And that, that life also goes on and now, they are the ones who have to go away for work. David is in Greece and Marta is in Barcelona.

The engineer David Usera and his cat.

But not even with those have they stopped their altruistic side, which has not remained an anecdote. A friend takes care of the feline member of the family while they are away, as if it were a baby. “When you’re locked up, you always think about what you can’t do, like traveling for pleasure. And it is missed, of course! But you also learn to give importance to little things like this. We liked cats, but it was decisive to know that the associations were at the top and they needed help ”, confesses the couple.

“We cannot go to the Pyrenees, but we can adapt. You have to have willpower and take time ”

Jose Manuel Vazquez Alvarez


José Manuel Vázquez Álvarez, yesterday on a route through Luintra (Ourense) of 37 kilometers. RAFA VÁZQUEZ

This year he has proposed to travel 3,000 kilometers … and he has already almost reached a thousand, adding the 37 of the route through the Ourense municipality of Luintra that he did yesterday. Is about Jose Manuel Vazquez Alvarez, that throughout the pandemic He worked on the front line as a cashier in a large commercial area in Ourense – his work was considered essential – but he set himself the challenge of continuing to go out for a walk every day. No sooner said than done.

In this way, he was also the ideologist of several routes of up to 60 kilometers away without leaving the municipality, that is, suitable for the time of the perimeter closure. A good example of adaptation to circumstances. In fact, José Manuel has not stopped.

“I like to walk and do mountain routes. Every year I set myself a personal challenge “, he relates. But it comes from afar. Among his previous (fulfilled) proposals, is that of walking with a hundred people: “

“Before the confinement I had 29 people who had walked with me and at the end of June, seventy-something …”


Past year had reached the top of the 25 highest mountains in Galicia and in 2018 it had been proposed and carried out to make a route in each council of the province; that is, 92 councils 92 routes.

Amateur, almost addicted, to travel, confinement and continuous restrictions forced him to rethink the way to enjoy his activity.

The also author of the blog “Diario de un gallego por el mundo” also took advantage of the extra time that the pandemic gave us to order photo folders and update them. “I have traveled alone and accompanied to 43 countries in the world, from Nepal to Iran, India … Ethiopia is the one I liked the most, for its green nature and the joy of its people”, he assures. Right now, he combines it with his walks. “In Ourense there is a lot of peri-urban area that continues to belong to the Ourense council,” he says. His record, to date, is “a route of 60 kilometers in 11 hours.” And on the map, his intention was to draw a route of 100 kilometers linking sections. The arrival of spring and the increase in daylight hours help on those walks.

Andrea Martínez has recycled all her CDs to make photo frames with tiles, among other crafts.

The time of restrictions also came like a glove in the homes of addicts to ‘handmade‘. A teacher and translator from Vilagarcía, Andrea Martinez, belonging to that species known as ‘handymen’, he recycled all the CDs in his house (and later, those of the neighbors) to make frames with a craft technique called ‘tesserae’. “The only good thing about the pandemic is that it enhanced my hobbies. I had tons of CDs and DVDs and now, with everything in the ‘cloud’ and stored on USB sticks, they didn’t make sense. As I don’t like to throw away, I am more in favor of reusing and giving things a second life, I made tiles, which are like small tiles ”, explains Andrea Martínez.

“In confinement I had a lot of free time … so I don’t have CDs at home anymore. And most of the frames that I made I have given away “


But he continues to ‘take advantage’ of the extra time of this situation to unleash his creativity: “Now I was given by the crochet: decoration, cushions …”, concludes this translator who two years ago lived in China.

But if something came together in the pandemic, especially during a confinement in which Galician supermarkets ran out of flour and yeasts, it was the kitchen. In many families the chef that some of them have inside emerged and culinary delights were among the most visited during the time of restrictions. But thousands of web tutorials, recipes on YouTube and cookbooks –in some publishers, the best sellers of the year– later, what is left? Well, in many cases, that gastronomic impulse continues to materialize to this day.

Laura García, in Pontevedra, with the recipe ready in her networks “Cook & mama”

This is the case of Laura García Rodríguez, an employee in a store in Pontevedra who began to upload her recipes to her Instagram (Cook & mama) during the time that the place where she works was closed due to confinement. The world ‘instagramer‘He was not displeased and already has about fourteen hundred followers.

“I don’t have the same time now that we’ve gotten back to normal a bit, but I keep hanging. prescriptions because I enjoy it and I do it for mine. I like to finish what I have started and I keep researching and reading ”, he assures.

“I have always been cooking and I like to eat varied, but simple things. I also like cooking to surprise my people ”, he explains. “Based on our tastes, I would try to do different things. What changed with the pandemic is that I made it visible. Before I did not expose it ”, adds Laura García. Perhaps, his recipes help many others to answer the tedious daily question: What do we eat tomorrow?

“Sometimes the important thing is to give ideas, people appreciate the contribution so as not to always fall into the same thing”


Although her profession and her hobby do not match in principle, Laura does not rule out (“why not?”) That one day cooking may become a professional challenge for her, although she does not place it as a priority. Of course, she is a firm defender of local commerce and has already participated in a campaign to promote purchases in the markets of Pontevedra.


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