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Covid – the next steps

It is weird that we are bombarded with so much information, yet know so little about Covid. Fear still dominates the agenda, but we need to reorganize our lives, and hope that the second wave, if it comes, can be effectively treated and a vaccine found.

But Portugal has good news. The State of Emergency will be lifted by May 3rd. Porto Santo is Covid-free – they had only 2 or 4 cases. Funchal has 43 active cases and nobody needs to go to the hospital for it. The hospital, in turn, should be returning to normal soon so that surgeries and treatments which were postponed, will be on the agenda again.

Both Governments on the mainland and in Funchal are busy thinking which businesses should open when, and under which rules. Certainly, masks and the usual recommendations will be part of the picture. Companies who make plastic panels, to shield supermarket cashiers and other workers, are working in overdrive on Madeira Island. Seamstresses are fed up with producing nothing but masks, masks, masks, complete with TNT filters.

The Health Service should have stashed all the new, expensive ventilators which, thank God, won’t be needed now, in the basement. We know by now that the machines kill more patients that they save. And interestingly, some Italian doctors said that the lungs of Covid patients seem to be beset with Diving Sickness, which is ideally treated in a hyperbaric chamber. We have one in the local Hospital since 2016.

Now all I want is to have a coffee with a friend in a “Pastelaria”, and be allowed to visit friends in their home for a homemade dinner. My favourite Indian restaurant survives on Take-away, and so do other restaurants.

There is light at the end of the tunnel!

Ursula Hahn

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