Portugal’s best-selling tabloid puts Covid numbers into sharp perspective

In the wake of congratulatory texts on the pace of Portugal’s vaccination roll-out, the country’s best-selling tabloid has carried a thought-provoking column, comparing the virus situation as of yesterday’s official DGS bulletin to that of the same date exactly a year ago:

“Covid numbers of August 25 2020: four deaths, 192 new cases, 325 in hospitals, 41 in intensive care.

“Covid number of August 25 2021: 16 deaths, 3,062 new cases, 688 in hospitals.144 in intensive care.

“The difference is 12 more deaths, 2,870 more new cases, 363 more patients in hospital and 103 more in intensive care.

“There will be no shortage of scientists and specialists – the kind that are never wrong and rarely have any doubts – with an explanation to justify why we are in a worse position than we were a year ago”, writes the paper’s deputy director Paulo João Santos. He has opted for what he calls the “most simple” approach:

“SARS-CoV-2 is here, and is here to stay.

“All antidotes, vaccines, medications, natural products – everything that can protect us – are welcome, but no-one should be under any illusions: the virus is not going to disappear quickly; herd immunity is a mirage. We are going to go from wave to wave until the final wave, at some point.

“For this reason there is no point in being anxious, depressed, concerned about ‘will I get it? Will I die?’ Things are what they are, and we have to face them naturally. It is this step that is missing – the most difficult: to understand and accept reality. 

“Running from the virus is useless – it simply steals years of our lives”.

After months in which a very similar message coming from an international group of doctors and scientists was sidelined, even ridiculed (click here), the unequivocal reality sees newspapers slowly appearing to warm to it.