Splash! Coronavirus spawns portable pool fad in Spain

Splash! Coronavirus spawns portable pool fad in Spain
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Two people sit in a plastic pool in Seville, Spain on Aug. 19, 2020. Isabel says that “it is terrible as we have to live but my son has Down syndrome and he has a Covid 10 risk profile so we can’t go to the public pool.” (AP/Laura Leon)
Splash! Coronavirus spawns portable pool fad in Spain
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As pretty much everywhere else, the coronavirus pandemic has meant more time at home for Spaniards. For many, of those furloughed or out of business it has also meant less income and no ways to afford a holiday to escape the sweltering temperatures of the Spanish summer. (AP/Laura Leon)
Splash! Coronavirus spawns portable pool fad in Spain
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Javier Salcedo swims in a portable plastic pool as his wife Irene Blanco sunbathes in their garden in Seville, Spain. “We decided to buy it second hand and a week later a heat wave started and all the pools were sold out. I could see that would happen.” (AP/Laura Leon)
Splash! Coronavirus spawns portable pool fad in Spain
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Lita Gomez always thought that it was a very stupid idea to have a pool in such small garden like her neighbors have, but now in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic “I can calm my envy by giving myself a very glamorous present with a jacuzzi even if it is just a plastic one. (AP/ Laura Leon)
Splash! Coronavirus spawns portable pool fad in Spain
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The float is too big for the pool but they weren’t very sure about the size because it was the first time they had bought a plastic pool. Javier says “I decided to buy it second hand and after a week all the pools were sold out. I could see that would happen.” (AP/Laura Leon)
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Updated 23 August 2020

Splash! Coronavirus spawns portable pool fad in Spain

Splash! Coronavirus spawns portable pool fad in Spain
  • The coronavirus pandemic has meant more time at home for Spaniards
  • For many of those furloughed or out of business it has also meant less income and no way to afford a holiday

SEVILLE, Spain: As pretty much everywhere else, the coronavirus pandemic has meant more time at home for Spaniards. For many of those furloughed or out of business it has also meant less income and no way to afford a vacation to escape the sweltering temperatures of the Spanish summer.
Searching for a solution to keep cool, portable pools have become the newest fad, taking over backyards, terraces, communal patios and even the streets of Seville in the country’s south.
Sales of all portable pools, including the cheapest inflatable models, started this year as early as May, when Spain was still in the middle of a strict lockdown and few feared that their summer would mean they would be confined at home. By June, most models had sold out from shopping malls and online websites.
Javier Salcedo, a 44-year-old construction manager in Seville, decided to purchase a sturdy model, a quality pool with plastic walls, but had to find it in the second-hand market. In hindsight, he’s happy he didn’t wait anymore.
“It was easy to see,” he said. “Public pools or private clubs were closed and the rest of the plans for the summer were up in the air.”
But few own a private yard like Salcedo’s in Sevilla, where thermometers that often hit the 40 C (104 F) mark can see even higher temperatures during heat waves.
Isabel, a 30-year-old who raises four children in one of the Seville’s poorest neighborhoods, bought an inflatable pool especially to make the heat more bearable for a son who has Down syndrome.
“I have no other place to put it but in the street,” she said. “It’s horrible to live in these precarious circumstances.”
With more than 377,000 total infections for the new virus and close to 29,000 confirmed deaths, Spain is trying to contain one of Europe’s most severe coronavirus outbreaks. In two months since ending a strict lockdown, the country has recorded close to 132,000 new infections.