We're currently averaging 6-10K new cases of COVID-19 along with at least 150+ deaths per day. Portugal's public health system is strained and the ICUs are nearly full. This Reuters' article gives more details on the situation and why the intensive care situation is so critical.
All we can do is continue to mask, wash our hands, keep our distance and wait for our turn to be inoculated. But let's be honest, this has been one very rough year for Portugal and its people.
Much as we posted back in October, the 2nd Wave has hit Portugal. 2021 offers hope, but right now it's a long and painful slog for many people and businesses.
Epidemiologists warned us that a second wave of COVID-19 would appear in the autumn, and it has here in Portugal. The case numbers began to grow at the beginning of September and have steadily risen from there. The last two days we've seen 2K in new cases reported daily and the government has instituted a state of calamity, which is an emergency declaration. 1K of those cases are here in Northern Portugal.
Since travel is not necessarily an option for many nowadays, here's a video of Porto to give you a sense of the city. Our first apartment was close to the gardens shown here.
We’ve had a few folks ask us how we’re coping during the pandemic so here goes. Also, we’re starting to sketch out some travel plans within the country. Let’s look at both.
Past blogs have dealt with how to establish utilities in Portugal. Inevitably, you’ll need to read those meters so this post explains how, and why, it is best you report those readings yourself.
Good old U.S. greenbacks are great for such vacation spots as the Bahamas and Panama, but a move to Europe means there’s currency exchanges in your future. Doubly so if you’re going to be sending over funds to buy a house, a business, or rent an apartment. This post takes a look at what that involves.
As with most European countries, Portugal is slowly and cautiously edging out of lockdown. We've gone from a State of Emergency to a Calamity (actually one step down) while resuming some of the activities of everyday life. So what has it been like? Let's take a look at how this country of 10.3 million souls has coped during this pandemic.
Our plans to post about the trip to Tomar and our time in Lisbon at the Embassy have been set aside by the pandemic caused by Covid-19. Like other European countries, Portugal is on the front lines. Rather than discussing the disease, we'd like to talk about how our new home is handling this crisis.
We're off to Tomar for a few days to check out this remarkable city, home of the Knights Templar (Ordem dos Templários). They were a much revered Order (at least by Christians) who participated in the Crusades and guarded pilgrims on their way to/from Jerusalem. Then they fell from grace, the leaders were tortured and executed. Wikipedia has more on why that happened. (Hint: it had to do with someone who owed them money.)
"The Portuguese king, Denis I, refused to pursue and persecute the former knights, as had occurred in all other sovereign states under the influence of the Catholic Church. Under his protection, Templar organizations simply changed their name, from "Knights Templar" to the reconstituted Order of Christ and also a parallel Supreme Order of Christ of the Holy See; both are considered successors to the Knights Templar." (Wikipedia)
We'll be sure to post photos of Tomar this week on our Facebook page and then I'll do a full post down the line.
Harold is a former software engineer. Jana is an author. Together they're exploring their new life in Portugal.