How I lived the terrorist attack in Barcelona

by Ricard Torres in personal

Last Thursday (August 17th) Barcelona was struck by a terrorist attack. To put you in context, the last jihadist attack in Spain was in 2004.

Luckily no one in my circles got hurt or really involved.

Me? I was going back home from work, listening to an audiobook while pushing the bike uphill with my quadriceps. I got home and started getting WhatsApp messages with links to news websites about the incident.

At that moment nobody knew anything but things escalated quickly. I got to my computer and opened Twitter, Facebook, two different news sites and a live TV broadcast from another source.

Images and videos started pouring social media. It was horrible. Police Twitter account was very active giving the most reliable and confirmed information. As usual media started spreading false rumors and hypothesis which only created more panic. Minutes passed and we got more and more details, as well as the total death toll.

So here’s a penny for your thoughts… how is that we feel more threatened, more horrified and affected for 13 mortal victims than for the 1.160 deaths in road accidents that happened in Spain during 2016? The numbers are a no brainer, yet people after the attack started changing plans on their day to day or changing their Facebook profile pictures to show their support. At work for instance, most people worked from home. Not because they couldn’t get in because of road blocks but for fear I imagine.

If you think about it, losing 13 poor souls means less than 1 death a year from terrorist attack since the last one in Spain. How many deaths have we had in Spain since 2004 related to car crashes? Thousands. I understand it’s not the same thing. On one side you have a deranged group of people trying to kill innocents. The other? Well, a deranged individual drinking while driving and killing innocent.

What do you think?

I also understand staying at home if police says so. Immediately after the attack that’s what they recommend and that’s what I did. The following day I went to work as usual. Yeah maybe there was less people on the street or maybe not. It’s hard to say since it’s August and most of Barcelona residents take their vacations.

So here we are, as of today they have shot down the van driver so at least people can get some closer. They’re still investigating, of course, to see if he had more accomplices.

Let’s hope this takes at least 10 more years to happen again.

Barcelona, Spain

Ricard Torres