Virus magnifies the solitude for the elderly at Christmas

By EMILIO MORENATTI Associated Press

Rosa Otero normally travels across Spain to spend Christmas with family. But pandemic health restrictions have made that impossible this year for the 83-year-old widow.

She is one of many of Spain's elderly who are feeling even more alone than ever this Christmas season. What should be a preciously scarce moment to spend time with loved ones has turned into yet another daily instalment of a lonely life.

The small joys she celebrated before the pandemic, like going to the local senior center to see friends or play cards, have been shut down. For this Christmas Eve, Otero prepared a plate of salmon to dine alone.

She says, "I don't feel like celebrating anything."

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