Coronavirus in Portugal: keep calm and carry on
By the time this article is being written, there are 25 people infected with Covid-19 virus in Portugal. Most of the cases are related to one of the first people infected, who brought it from Milan. Portugal was one of the last European nations to get its first cases of the disease. To the point that Portuguese social media, adding some dark humour, were comparing the numbers of Covid-19 to the scoring of the Eurovision Song Contests, where the nation usually gets poor results (despite Salvador Sobral’s win in 2017).
We wouldn’t like to make much comment about the disease itself. Most has been said by scientists, doctors and the World’s Health Organization (WHO) top officers. We would like to recall the comments made by Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool FC manager, replying to a journalist who asked him for comments about the disease: “ask the scientists, not me”. Eventually, we could add that it is likely (although still not 100% sure) that the warmer months of Summer will bring a decline in the numbers of the disease.
Anyway, the Portuguese authorities, having had about two months to prepare for this eventuality, seem to be ready to contain the spread of the disease. Last Saturday, March 7th, the government announced the closing of a couple of schools related to the first cases of infection. Visits to large establishments (hospitals, prisons) had also been suspended. Plans to suspend the activity of public services had even been announced, although still not implemented.
Keep calm and carry on
The famous motivational message issued by the British government in 1939, turned into an internet meme in the 21st century (although rarely displayed in public in its time) could well be the best way to describe how Portugal is handling Covid-19. Several private initiatives involving large numbers of people have also been cancelled or postponed. Notoriously, the Lisbon Tourism Exhibition, which has scheduled for March and is now set to May. Let’s get cautious but proceed with our everyday lives.