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Covid – almost there

Last updated on 14th May 2020

Madeira is almost Covid-free if it were not for some people from Câmara de Lobos who returned from the Mainland with the disease and, after the first quarantine, infected their family and acquaintances.

Our Government did a good job, they contained it and us, the population, early. Before the Mainland Government ordered the closure of the airport and ports, our Government started taking the passengers’ and crews’ temperature and checked for potential infection. We are doing well; we have only 35 active cases now, all mild and in quarantine. Those unfortunate to contract the virus are currently quarantined in a resort in Cabo Girão – mind you, it is a five-star resort, with total sea view and decent food. Once they pass two negative tests, they will return to their homes. And we can declare Madeira to be Covid-free, ready to receive non-Infected tourists (that will be the tricky part).

But the Government is always working in hindsight. Which is why now, on the Island, we have all kinds of posters, paid for by our taxpayers’ money, nudging us to disinfect our cars after having brought our foodstuff home from the supermarket: We are wearing masks in shops which are fortified inside as if they were banks of old, ready for any bank robbery. We are dutifully wearing masks in the buses while we can be pretty sure that the only viruses floating around in the air are at lofty Cabo Girão.

The Portuguese, maybe more so the Madeirans, are an obedient people. They stand in line with 2m distance and develop asthma and colds in the humid, warm environment they are carrying around in front of their mouths. They are obedient but listless because they cannot even have a coffee and sit down while drinking it. On an Island with zero new infections and all transmission lines being cut, I find this to be totally out of proportion.

But hark! We are suffering this for the news, soon to come, that we are Covid-free so that our tourism can open up again to foreigners who are keen to come to us, to enjoy our mild climate, our sights, walks and food. We have lost a monumental amount of business, and many livelihoods have suffered, but we shall build tourism up again.

Ursula Hahn

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