Madeira has inoculated its doctors, nurses, the staff in the old age homes and most of its senior citizens in these well-guarded installations. Still, outbreaks happened in three of them, and they cost us some loved ones; Granny and Grandpa seem to die like flies with Covid.
In February, we shall get 17.500 doses (if it happens as planned) and the same in March as well. This quantity seems to be sufficient to give the first and second dose to all Island residents with serious health conditions, and those aged above 80 years (around 11.000 persons in 2019). Mind you, this encompasses persons who are registered in the Health System (Centro de Saude). Some foreign residents may not be registered so they, even if not eligible, should try to shoulder their way in. The Madeirans are very helpful and I think nobody will be turned away.
The infection numbers are coming under control on the island. Even far-flung persons in Ponta do Sol and other places in the “campo” seem to have understood after some nasty remarks by our President, Miguel Albuquerque, that it is a bad idea to have “festas” with may people and few precautions. Even so, it had to be ruled that when you go to a Poncha Bar, you must have a chair to sit down on so that the poor bar owner can assure that his clients keep the required distance and he doesn’t risk losing his bar license.
With the continued application of the evening/night curfew, the numbers should go down further. If this is the price we have to pay to avoid a complete lockdown like on the mainland, we have to live with it. We do need low infection numbers so that our tourists can come back soon, or we will end up with a much bigger problem. The island economy has not been under so much strains since decades.
What’s next? Summer should really bring relief from fear (overblown or adequate) and, provided we get enough of the magic injections, we could come out of our hibernation mentality and really feel the sun on our faces again!
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