Addressing the country ahead of the 15th declaration of a State of Emergency, Portugal’s president Marcelo said: “If 2020 was the year of struggle for life and health, 2021 will be the year for the start of social reconstruction”.
Hinting that tomorrow’s news on the next phase of reopening on Monday will see some boroughs held back due to the numbers of inhabitants testing positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, Marcelo encouraged ‘another effort’.
“Portuguese, I want to ask you for another effort to make it impossible for us to go backwards; for local confinements, if necessary, to guarantee a different summer and autumn. We are entering what we hope will be the start of the end of the most difficult moment in terms of public health since the Spanish Flu; a moment with more deaths than the Great War, or in the African battles 60 years ago.
“It’s time for us to reconstruct the lives of everyone, to think more about the future with the legitimate pride of being and having been, as a people, up against one of the greatest challenges in our history of nine centuries; of having been and continuing to be equal to Portugal…”
They were a few short minutes on the 8 o’clock news in which the president sought to stoke the national psyche, and prepare people for whatever comes tomorrow in terms of news of the third stage of deconfinement.
All kinds of ‘rumours’ are circulating – to the point that some people seem to think the whole country could be kept back a couple of weeks instead of moving forwards.
We can only wait and see; fully aware that for President Marcelo the great urgency now is to repair as much of the social savagery that has been allowed to run in the name of protecting the country from ‘a killer disease’.
“If the economy is going to take time to recover”, he said this evening, “society will take even longer”.