The Covid Diary: Selin&Zainab, 26&28 years old, Portugal

Portugal is one of the better countries in Europe to experience a Lockdown. You have the weather that is fine with you, the country is beautiful, there is no unnecessary fear because since the chaos we have always had toilet paper from day one. 

Now, we only need the restaurant and cafe’s back for a relaxing coffee and dinner time, as well as, healthy people walking around without the anxiety of a pandemic. As for the rest; I hope we all learned a valuable lesson when it comes to what needs to change

Portuguese people are very much on their own as long as you keep it to yourself and not bother them whatever you do. 

You don’t hear much about Portugal. Portugal is freedom. We both grew up partly in the Netherlands, we shouted out freedom but is there really freedom?

Before the Goverment announced the Lockdown, a lot of the people chose to stay at home already. You don’t have to give these people instructions, they are simple and logical.

The government is so understanding that they announced the following before Easter: ‘There will be extra controls. We know our people, they love being with their families during Easter.

The government advises not to go, but they will not be for sale with threats. They do not threaten their people as if little children and the people do not behave as spoiled little brats either

A moment for appreciation: We all should learn and realise that how we perceive a situation is how we live it. Being happy and worry-free is a choice. Just as being worried is also a lifestyle to live by. These are not destinations

Measures have been taken, there is usually a line outside during groceries (in the meantime you can enjoy the weather outside because mostly the weather is awesome), you can go outside for a walk or visit someone. On the weekends there is more control than during the weekdays. For example; you will get addressed by the police when you are sunbathing in the park for instance, from what I witnessed.

Therefore, during this lockdown, that what should make us happy is that you get to spend everyday with your loved ones and do not waste time and environment for unnecessary work travels. Without the city rush, finally birds can be heard along with the waves from far away. Finally, what matters most is not what you achieve or fail, but the time you spend and memories you create. Finally, we went back to basic and learn that we can life without excessive shopping and buying stuff we don’t even need. It ain’t all that bad. 

There are more things going on than just a virus. When we look around to other countries and what we hear and get, we are in Portugal well. Of course if the story’s are true. However if we compare it with the Netherlands, we will still prefer Portugal. 

And you know what they say, bad news always goes faster than good news. Have you heard anything about Portugal since the COVID-19, not really right? 

In the meantime, one of us has moved to their own appartment during the COVID-19, painted the apartment, ordered furniture and still need to do many other things that can also be done with the Lockdown. Nothing is open a few small shops only but with connections here and there you will get a lot further.

Selin; What I personally miss would be sitting down for a coffee while strolling the streets. Although, our locals started to selling them to go (not so much a portuguese custom) but we are there to support the small local shops! Even in chaos Portugal can make you feel still alive and in peace… Especially now that are almost no people around. The earth is healing and animals have their spaces back, one of my greatest appreciations during this time. We make our lives as they are, we are responsible for the outcome. It is up to us to learn from this and make some changes for the better. I hope for humanity to heal, not physically but more mentally! 

Zainab; The thing I personally miss is simple. That the subways are full again, that we are pushing each other to save the next metro, or that you sometimes no longer have a place to walk on the street in Lisbon (it can be quite busy). To be able that close to each other and not to worry. At the same time, I also enjoy how awesome it is to see the switch in technologie. Our generation went from playing the flippos or marbles outside to work from home? This is something that will not just happen again until the next revolution, war, whatever you want to call it or think it is. It’s a temporary break, enjoy it. Everything comes to an end. Never forget that!

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