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The coronavirus arrived and Felgueiras became "the ghost town". Even funerals …

by ace
The coronavirus arrived and Felgueiras became "the ghost town". Even funerals ...

At the LimaLixa pharmacy, some preventive measures were put in place with a view to serving the public. Having a maximum number of four people on site, calling for travel only in case of extreme need, having barriers on the ground to establish the proximity limit or opting for the service provided by the wicket in the week of extended hours are just some examples.

At Adega Sousa, in Rande, lunches have not gone so well and dinner "is always unknown." Who says it is José de Sousa, worker in this restaurant for 24 years. “We are a family home, our regular customers are mostly footwear factory workers. We noticed a slight decrease, but nothing special ”, he says in an interview with the Observer, guaranteeing that they will keep the door open. "Whoever wants to come will be welcome", he stresses.

José knows “a lot of frightened people”, but at 63 he doesn't let himself be alarmed. "Someone brought the virus here and did not behave in the best way, now you have to wait and see what happens."

In the city center, at Praceta do Foral, José Mário Sousa is responsible for a 45-year-old traditional sweet pastry, a local accommodation and a café. To the Observer, he speaks of a “40 to 50% drop in the last 48 hours”. "The weekend was good, but today was a terrible day, nothing happened, we received almost no one."

The trader notes the inhibition of people in compliance, social alarm and the escape from public and closed spaces. "It's normal, people are just following the guidelines given by the Directorate-General for Health. It is the elders who devalue the situation, pretend that nothing is happening." They are the ones who have frequented your coffee in the last days.

José Mário Sousa confesses that he is worried about the investment he made in the business recently and about the losses he expects to have in the near future. The local accommodation has six rooms and capacity for 12 people, but cancellations have arrived. “We had a Spanish couple who booked a room from Sunday to Wednesday to visit shoe factories. Visits were canceled and yesterday they decided to leave. We had another reservation from some Swedes, but they just sent me an email informing them that they were no longer coming. ” This is a scenario that already represents a loss of more than a thousand euros.

At the cafe, José has constantly disinfected tables, chairs and door handles, as well as all the utensils used by employees, but access to the product was not always easy. “Disinfectant alcohol is completely depleted, it doesn't exist. I think it should be distributed free of charge by the authorities. Yesterday I had to go to Fafe to buy and found a store that sold for 46 euros a liter. This is an ordinary and miserable benefit for those who want to protect themselves ”, he criticizes.

It was also in Fafe that the Felgueiras trader took the opportunity to put gasoline in a place where he has been known for several years. “In the end, the owner gave me a slip as if I were a leper. I realize the panic, but it is a sad and uncomfortable situation for us. Most of the cases are related to the shoe factories, my business is different. ”

José Mário Sousa guarantees that, despite everything, he will continue with his doors open, even though many neighboring establishments have restricted their hours. Regarding the future, he believes that if the number of infected people increases in the area, the situation could even become “a tragedy”.

Joaquim Carneiro is a priest in the parishes of Vila Verde and Borba de Godim, both in the municipality of Felgueiras. “This morning we had a meeting with the swindler in which in the minutes we proposed some measures. The document has now been approved by the bishop, ”he says in an interview with the Observer.

On the list of suggestions presented is the suspension of daily Eucharists for two weeks, confessions, typical of the time of Lent, and catechesis for the 380 children, “while schools are closed”.

“We are going to keep the funerals, but advising the containment of greetings to people”, stresses the priest. This restraint, he says, has already started at masses last weekend, where the greeting of peace did not exist among parishioners and in communion many chose to receive the host in their hands and not directly in their mouths.

During the coronavirus outbreak, articles related to this crisis will be open to reading, accessible to subscribers and non-subscribers. We thus seek to respond to the demand for qualified and serious information at a time of great uncertainty and anxiety. We feel that this effort by the Observer, whose teams we reinforced in order to be able to offer up-to-the-minute information, reports, fact-checks, explainers and other background texts, stems from our public service mission and from understanding the central role that information plays in the lives of citizens. But no citizenship survives without a free press, paid for by its readers.

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