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COVID – steady as she goes

Last updated on 13th September 2020

Our COVID situation seems to have leveled off at around 47 cases. Tourists and residents, coming from abroad or from Lisbon, bring the disease. All incoming persons without a recent test are checked at the airport, and the infected are quickly identified. Whoever turns out to be positive, must either go into the Quarantine Hotel (we don’t know which one it is) or they have to stay in their homes and isolate themselves there. As long as these people act responsibly and follow the rules, they cannot cause local transmission. And yes, we did have local transmissions again, but those affected were quickly traced by our excellent IASAÚDE Team, and isolated.

There is nobody in the COVID wing in the Hospital, and it seems increasingly unlikely that anybody should end up there. By now, enough medicines have been found to be effective in mitigating the virus’s effects if an infected person has a turn for the worse, so any serious symptoms can be avoided. I understand that our hospital has around 42 ventilators at hand but, thanks to our IASAÚDE Team, they will remain wrapped up in plastic.

So, the other side of the coin is the economic downturn we had since COVID upended the tourist influx. With Government aid (and somebody will have to pay for that), hotels and other tourist related businesses may not have to let their staff go, and they may survive, but the consequences weigh heavily. “Collateral” damage” is also to be found between the news headlines, as bodies have been found floating in the sea or lying at the bottom of a cliff. This is a sad and difficult time for many, but there is also hope and determination.  

The Island is still swimming, and we will get through this!

Ursula Hahn

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