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Getting through coronavirus lockdown with 11 children

Home quarantine poses an extra challenge for large families, from a lack of space to sharing computers to multiple shopping trips


29 April 2020 12:58 PM


ACN | Barcelona

A lot of extra organizing is needed when you are confined to home due to the coronavirus restrictions and you have a large number of children. A lack of space, the need to share computers, and skyrocketing bills are just some of the problems detected by Catalonia's association of large families, FANOC. 

Patrícia Díez is the mother of 11 young children and she tells the Catalan News Agency (ACN) that the keys to successfully getting through the coronavirus lockdown are "a lot of organization and a lot of flexibility", as well as knowing how to prioritize. 

Pere Farré and Cristina Montesó are the parents of nine children, seven of whom live at home, but the fact that they are between 15 and 28 makes the confinement a little easier, they say. Yet, they point to a lack of space and add that there are sometimes conflicts.

The director of FANOC, Raúl Sánchez, tells ACN that despite the negative consequences of the confinement, there is also a positive side, as families are getting to share time they normally don't have together. “Everyone tells us it’s something they’ve never experienced before,” he says.

Large families "just about make it to the end of the month"

As for the problems, Sánchez says one of the biggest is financial, especially for parents temporarily laid off who are waiting for their benefits or those who are self-employed: "They just about make it to the end of the month but do not know how to go on," he says.

Sharing resources between so many people in one house is also a problem, especially when parents need to telework and children need to study online. The lack of computers for everyone, says Sánchez, "generates a lot of stress in parents" and the fear that there will be a "learning gap between large families and those with only children."

The FANOC head says that the association has alerted the authorities about this situation and that they are waiting to receive an answer about providing computers for large families. However, Sánchez fears that, "once again," large families will be left out.

Even such simple tasks as going shopping can become a problem for large families, with trips to acquire food being limited to one person. That means making multiple shopping trips to get everything a family of more than 11 members needs, Sánchez points out. 

The head of FANOC argues that government financial aid and the measures against coronavirus should take into account the number of children in each household. "We think that large families are the great forgotten group," he says.


  • A selfie of the family with eleven children getting through the lockdown together (by Patrícia Díez)

  • A selfie of the family with eleven children getting through the lockdown together (by Patrícia Díez)