120 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 24.7.2021

Jul 25, 2021 at 10:40 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment

We watched this TED talk:

https://www.ted.com/talks/bunker_roy_learning_from_a_barefoot_movement#t-1096676    (NGO website: https://www.barefootcollege.org/)

A very inspiring (old) story about a movement in India, which spread to other countries, to use local talents to electrify villages by solar power and organize a better life for the villagers on all levels, mainly be empowering the women.

The talk was proposed by U. who feels that after the Pandemic, people did not get to be more empathic or supportive but more egoistic.

The Barefoot Village approach cannot be transplanted to other, more developed countries, it only works in certain places.

We didn’t want to speak about Covid but we ended up speaking about the Pandemic. Some members of the group have the impression that especially young people sacrificed to help older people get through the Pandemic safely so they are not more egoistic, they did their part. We also spoke about the resistance by some to be vaccinated as this is an important tool to get group immunity at some time. It was also pointed out that some churches are telling their flock not to be vaccinated (not the Anglican Church). The impression was that many people decided to “wait and see”, and that many of them will change their idea and decide to get vaccinated later.  

The most important argument for vaccination is for people to get more freedom back, such as travelling without hassle and going to concerts etc. In any case, it is a proof of solidarity to be vaccinated.

Vaccination may be made compulsory, some countries are discussing this, at least for certain professions.

It is important that the “rest of the world” gets vaccinated as well, some western countries are now starting to donate vaccines to third world countries – very late. We will pay the price for this with more variants coming up.

An interesting thought: C. said that WWII would have happened in a different way, if Facebook, Twitter etc had existed then. The voiced opposition of many people would have been detrimental to ending the war. Winning against the German might have been harder, if people had had such a big forum to disagree with measures.

It is important that a population can trust in the Government and in this Pandemic, most of the Governments did not perform well. Hindsight, to be fair, is always cleverer.

Also, we might be too comfortable in Europe with our way of life. We are complaining on a high level, compared to third world countries.

The EU: Poland and Hungary are not in conformity with EU regulations, they don’t respect and support the community. We have to hope that the Governments there will change, to get a better cooperation from them. There is no mechanism to throw these countries out of the EU.

The UK: Claus said that in the UK, persons can get “pinged” by an App, to go into quarantine because of a supposed Covid contact, with the Covid infected neighbour in the next apartment, even they didn’t meet with him. The UK now has empty shelves in the supermarkets, not because of Brexit but because so many people are in precaution-covid quarantine, that workers are not available to fill the shelves with goods.

For Madeira Island, tourists will continue to bring the disease; the higher case numbers are the price we have to pay to have tourism.

In any case, vaccinated persons have really much less change of a) getting the virus and of b) transmitting it to other people because their body does not provide a good environment for the virus to propagate.

Work: Going back to work is hard for some people, they are now used to being paid for sitting at home. Civil construction and restaurants are desperate to find willing workers. The Minimum Wage is always a problem, it is too low to offer people a decent way of living. Companies may not be able to afford a big increase, they might go out of business. It is a difficult line to walk.

It would be helpful for the population if daily costs went down. The only good action the Government in Portugal took in the last four years was to considerably lower the price of public transport. Instead of building bike lanes, they should lover the cost of electricity (which they are doing) and VAT (which is not going to happen); this would be helping the population best

So we closed on a somewhat positive outlook, that solidarity is here and that people are more helpful to each other that we can see

Other stuff:

Quinta Magnolia now houses an Art Gallery with modern art, go and have a look!

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