The COVID-19 pandemic has become a global phenomenon with powerful effects. The deaths and suffering, and the measures taken to mitigate the propagation, are changing the way we relate, work, and enjoy ourselves. The psychological impact on individuals and groups can only be partially known yet, but deserves examination. We focus on the specific place where we live: the city of Bilbao in northern Spain. The response of its people could represent an example of the COVID-19 experience and its effects, and some aspects might be generalized elsewhere. This paper reflects on the influence of the pandemic on some relevant social dimensions: personal and public spaces, affected by estrangement, time, subject to a slower pace, which pushes us into a different contact with our internal world. It also addresses a social vision of the pandemic as a punishment for our errors in the socio-economic and environmental fields, the role of uncertainty that generates strong defensive movements at the group level, and the expressions of personal and group courage throughout the process. The intensity of the pandemic in Bilbao and many parts of the world still prevents reflection on the long-term effects, which will have to be investigated in the future.