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‘Do Not be Discouraged’ A Letter to Câmara de Lobos

Doctor Manuel Pedro Freitas,  the President of the Municipal Assembly of Câmara de Lobos since 2013, believes the containment fence surrounding the parish of Câmara-Lobense may constitute an “opportunity” for the population to unite.

In an article, Manuel Pedro Freitas launches an appeal to both citizens of the parish, and Madeira as a whole.  His letter reads:

“Regarding the isolation of the parish of Câmara de Lobos.

Mistakes, despite making us sad, should not make us discouraged, as they can be opportunities for learning and improvement.

The recent “pulling of ears” at Câmara de Lobos, by the Regional Government, is an opportunity to not only improve our behaviour in the face of a problem that will accompany us for several months but also to (re)create a strong feeling of “Câmara-Lobense Pride.”

In response to this “tugging of ears” and the b∗∗∗∗∗∗t done through comments and the publication of photographs and dozens of videos manipulated to denigrate the image of the “xavelhas,” that is, of the Câmara-Lobenses, the answer can only be unity of all in the sense of not only repairing the error, but showing that we will be able to do it in the best way and, if possible, better than others.

To do so, we will have to be united in the scrupulous compliance with the recommendations and procedures that in the scope of the fight against the coronavirus are emanated by the health authorities such as compliance with quarantines or isolation; social distance, whether between households, in our workplace or the context of shopping; confinement to our homes; hand hygiene measures and individual protection measures.

With the same objective, it is also vital to call the attention of the offenders or even, to report to the authorities situations or behaviours that are jeopardizing individual and collective security; it is essential when using health services, not to lie or withhold information that can reflect negatively on the safety of health professionals or other patients; it is crucial to keep in mind that everyone’s safety depends on the behaviour of each one of us; it is essential to keep in mind that mistakes are opportunities for improvement, for learning, but if repeated, there will have to be consequences and whoever makes them will necessarily have to be held responsible and punished regardless of their social condition.

Although we are not used to this type of conditionality and restrictions and this culture is not the one we were born or live with, we must understand that it will be the one we will have to get used to in the coming months or perhaps years.

Being “stuck” in our room or hotel for 14 or 21 days or even longer is not easy, as it is not easy for us not to be able to go to the cafe and have a chat, as it is not easy to be deprived of dinners or barbecues or to be restricted to living solely with our primary family nucleus, when we have more family or are still deprived of being with grandchildren or unable to visit institutionalized or hospitalized family members.

When we assume risky behaviours, such as what supposedly happened in Câmara de Lobos, it is possible that, sometimes, there is an error, and in this case, it did. The result was what we saw: because of us, is not only the lives of those who are most dear to us – our children, our companions, our relatives, but also the lives of others; the unleashing of hostility and hatred on the part of those who are doers and who feel their lives at risk on the part of the non-doers; the denigration of the regional, national and international image that, in recent years, Câmara de Lobos has tried so hard to win.

Let’s go, because everyone will do a kind of “reset” in the way of being, and wherein addition to, obligatorily including the Câmara-Lobenses, we will also have to include the rest of the Madeiran population, where not everyone is also a doer. For this reason, before judging the “shamans,” we need to remember what Jesus said when the episode of the stoning of the sinner Mary Magdalene: “he who has no sins should throw the first stone”. Naturally, this should not prevent pointing the finger at those who do not fulfil their citizenship duties, especially when the value of life is at stake.”

A very poignant and heartfelt message.

Samantha Gannon

info at madeira-weekly.com

Madeira Weekly