Lucian Florea (40 years old), speaks about life in Portugal during coronavirus pandemic, from the measures taken by local authorities to the way we change and our valuable lessons, during this period.
State of emergency has been declared in Portugal in mid-March, and all public places have been closed – schools, restaurants, terraces, the woods, beaches, churches. All reunions have been forbidden, including religious services.
Like the Spaniards, the Portuguese are very sociable, so isolation affected them a lot. They were used to get out in groups for picnics, to the beach, big groups, three generations of the same family. Also used to drink a coffee in the morning, before going to work, at a small bar in the area or a gas station, they socialize a lot, easily talk.
Mask wearing, mandatory in all public places
At the beginning, only supermarkets, pharmacies and gas stations remained opened. In supermarkets no more than 40 people were allowed, people waited outside and have taken order tickets. “Now we don’t have to wait outside anymore, the state of emergency has been lifted, but mask wearing is mandatory in all public places”, Lucian explains.
People are not allowed to gather more than five, and keeping a social distance of two meters is also mandatory. You can find everything you need in supermarkets – but “craziness of shopping” also happened here, when pandemic began. Disinfectants, sanitary alcohol are streamlined – you are not allowed to buy more than two bottles per person. Facial masks can be found with reasonable prices – 5 pieces for 5 euros, for instance.
Home working and home schooling
Schools are still closed, and will remain so until September, at least, when the authorities will announce what they intend to do. Lucian’s daughter, who is in the 3-rd grade, has online classes.
His wife, who works in a call center of a French multinational company, is doing home office ever since the pandemic began. He worked from home, now goes to the office, also – works for a printing house that prints leaflets and medicine boxes. But when they are at work all wear masks, plastic visors and keep social distancing.
“I think this pandemic has taught us to be more careful with people around us, elderly people, vulnerable persons, to care more about others. We have stayed home both for ourselves but to protect the others, also”, Lucian says, talking about one of the most important lessons learnt nowadays.
We’ve been more moderate in doing shopping, he adds, and have learnt to appreciate more things considered “normal” before – like getting out for a barbecue, for instance. More time spent with your family is also extremely beneficial – you talk to your children more, make plans together.
PHOTO FROM PERSONAL ARCHIVE
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