It’s been 3 years since I wrote something in my blog and a year of that has been spent sitting on my hands trying not to write anything. Well, the day has come where I simply cannot remain silent for any longer. And of course, many of you will be thinking to yourself, seeing the heading – is she going to talk about Covid 19?
Well, yes I am! Our planet has gone completely nuts and a year down the line it is getting even more crazy.
As many of my past readers here know, I live in Madeira and when the Pandemic struck around early March life at that point was going rather well. As I write this I am sitting in the cold UK, unable to get back home. During the month of February exactly a year ago, the media became interested in a strange virus…we all know that story, as we are all still living it. But in early March I was worried about a quick trip to Lisbon to attend a stakeholders meeting at the British Embassy for Brexit, but went never the less. I was quite shocked to see various members of Lisbon airport staff wearing masks. A week later, Madeira went into lockdown and my initial worry turned into the biggest fear. That we were now going to have a Zombie Apocalypse, the body bags would be filling the streets and I didn’t dare step foot outside my property in case I became infected. I worried about my children and my family members back in the UK as no one seemed to understand at that point that there was this deadly virus and the UK government didn’t seem to be passing on the gravity of the situation.
Our lock down went on for nearly 3 months, the UK followed suit at the end of March and suddenly everything on TV became centred around this thing that was going to eventually kill us all. Very early on, our island adopted some very strict measures. It started with quarantine upon arrival at the airport. Whilst I spent 3 weeks assisting the tourist board and the British Government at my end, repatriating scared souls back to home soil, I also helped residents to return from their holidays abroad. I knew 5 poor people get carted off to the designated quarantine hotel, which at that time was at the expense of the Madeira Government. And although no one really moaned about the imposition, their stay there was less than humane. Two meals a day and a snack and a bottle of water sent from the hospital, armed guards around the premises and on site, with no fresh air or exercise. They were confined to their room for two weeks, a prison gives better treatment to their inmates. At the end of their confinement they had to have a negative PCR test before being allowed to leave. Those early imprisoned residents were understanding about their rights being interrupted for that time, because it was early days and despite the contradictions, everybody I knew was knuckling down and self isolating, staying safe and all for the greater good of everyone else.
But as weeks morphed into months, and as tourists started to filter through again, many brave souls started to exercise their freedom of rights and upon being whisked off to mandatory quarantine, called lawyers to enact a Habeus Corpus. Those that did were rightly released. Back in November, as the rules of entry had been relaxed to PCR testing at the airport, and funded by the Madeira Government. Upon a positive test result, would ensure that a holiday would be in confinement, four German tourists who arrive onto the Portuguese island of Azores, were all marched off to one, after one of their party had a positive result. He felt well, and a Habeas Corpus was filed. This case was brought to court and they were released. The court had ruled that a Positive test did not mean an actual Covid Case and that the PCR test had an accuracy of less than 3%. I will cover my thoughts on this subject in another post.
Madeira also adopted the use of face coverings and masks a lot earlier than other countries and made it compulsory. Forget any rights you had on this subject as being excempt does not exist there. I had already starting to question heavily about the way we were being told what to do and how to behave, the rules for social distancing and small bubbles of gatherings. None of this made logical sense as one rule would come in and then be ridiculed. No scientific backing or common sense was on offer, just rules dished out by the government and fines for anyone who did not comply. Most of it would have made some sense if we actually had a problem with the virus on the island, but the small outbreaks that popped up were contained and it wasn’t until early December that our first death on the island was recorded. This person was over 80 and of course the island went into a melt down over the tragic loss of their first Covid victim. My remark is not meant to be flippant, but as the year has progressed we have learned that most people who fall victim to this virus are over the age of 75. And to put that into context, even the flu can be deadly to a person in this age group. To date 75% of the deaths in the UK from or with Covid are the over 75’s. Source: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/articles/coronaviruscovid19roundup/2020-03-26#health
But forced mask wearing during the height of summer was something no one could get out of, so for me, I didn’t go out, apart from a fortnightly grocery shop at the supermarket. Not only did I research the reasoning behind masks and to date have still not found one scientific study that has concluded that wearing one, stops anyone from catching the virus. On the contrary there are a gazillion studies on the lengthy time one wears one that can cause all sorts of problems and irreversible damage to ones health. When masks were discussed by WHO and our two governments early on in the, what I will now call a ‘plandemic’ the bods in charge said it was unnecessary to be muzzled, as we saw clips on You tube and Facebook with the extremes and lengths that people were going to to prevent catching it. A new way to recycle your plastic coca cola bottle, plastic bags and underpants were the new way to protect yourself. Even Boris said, when he made it mandatory to wear one on the train or on the tube, that it was about making oneself feel safer. And just that.
But despite no scientific proof to back up the mandate on being muzzled in public spaces, Madeira went one further, in around August of last year. It was announced that we had to wear one in the street! We still had very few cases and even periods of no cases at all and yet the restrictions were being ramped up another notch. Most everybody I knew around me, were now firmly fixed on the doom and gloom of our very fortunate situation and happily muzzled up to go meet friends and socialise. I spent my time researching everything that was going on, to in my mind justify what was going on, as I simply didn’t fit in with anyone else and their blindly following all the rules without questioning them. I took my frustrations out on facebook quite a few times and ended up losing a lot of friends. I was being labelled as a tin foil hat wearer, conspiracy theorist, wanton spreader of disease, a Typhoid Mary, mentally ill and selfish. People became very mean to anyone that questioned anything. There was a very quick divide in society. The Confib believers and the ones that question everything. Any debate became a slagging match of name calling by the Confibs, not willing to back up any of their research, as they simply didn’t do any. Their research was taken from the telly, all internet research was now deemed as factually incorrect and any debate on the subject was met with disdain and threats. I went through a time of receiving very nasty messages, a couple of threats and then had my character and reputation assassinated on a couple of groups on Facebook. I was told to shut up, tow the line and suck it up. I am not an awkward person generally and will do anything to help someone if it makes logical sense. But ask me to comply and give up some of my rights and freedoms to a set of rules, that don’t….I can’t just suck it up until I am given the information that is logical and informed. I am just wired that way.
So, the night before the street mask wearing was going to be made law and feeling at the lowest I have ever been in years, now devoid of friends, I donned the muzzle and went to the supermarket to go buy alcohol. I needed to get shit faced, listen to loud music and scream at the frustration of it all…I had deduced that a night of drinking heavily and having a party on my own, would solve my depressed state caused by the utter helplessness of feeling that something was going drastically wrong with our world, our society and the acceptance of now having a dictator running our island.
And as the photo suggests…I was on a mission! I lit the BBQ that night and drank on my view point overlooking the bananas and sea. The other side of my seat and over the wall was the road. Sitting there thinking, how is to right that I can sit one side of wall and breath fresh air and yet tomorrow, to step foot in that street I would have to wear a mask…..it was then that I had decided that I had not gone mad, but the rest of the world had.
I didn’t realise that my family were starting to worry and over the next few days my dad rang and suggested that I took a trip back to the UK to visit the family. So I packed my suitcase and two weeks later greeted my parents at Gatwick airport, this was in September. It was a welcome relief to be with them and my two week booking turned into two months. During this time, I flew to Scotland to visit my daughter and son in law, she was working from home and I was able to spend a couple of weeks with them. I bought a cheap little run around and flitted between my parents in Surrey and Worthing where my son, daughter in law and Grandchildren lived, spending long weekends with them and keeping the kids occupied with arts and crafts. I spent a couple of weeks on the Isle of Wight with my sister and a few days with a friend who visits Madeira regularly. And as it became more pressing for me to go home, as bills needed to be paid (forget my business, that was dead in the ground now), I flew home at the beginning of November.
But whilst I spent that time in the UK, it was a relief to exercise a right and that was to not wear a muzzle. I got a lanyard with mask exempt on it and was the only person on the plane allowed the freedom to breath aircraft recycled air and not my own. But as soon as I set foot on Portuguese soil the gestapo were there, screaming at me to put on a mask, they were very puzzled by my badge! By this point, Madeira were still PCR testing anyone who entered the island, despite their courts ruling their uselessness. I had mine before I left within the 72 hour guideline and joined the queue of two. Everyone else had opted for the freebie and were lining up like cattle. The doctor I had to speak to at a small booth at the airport entrance found my test in his computer and then quizzed me on my lack of mask, he was rude and gruff and said that I would not be allowed entry to anywhere without one. Being exempt without a letter from the doctor was not acceptable in Madeira. (of course I already knew this, but just played dumb anyway).
I was only back home for 6 weeks and I have to say they have been the most miserable weeks of my life. The first week was OK as for the very few people who were still taking to me did. And I even managed to venture out for a lunch with one couple, but the remaining 5 weeks were spent on my own. Getting more worked up about how the world was changing and angry at the diatribe politicians were starting to pump out over the virus. My business was dead in the water as so few tourists were managing to come, hotels were starting to close down, I had to lay off two employees and am now sitting on 3 empty properties. One is a building site where I had just got planning permission to turn it into a 27 bed guest house/hostel with a pub and restaurant. It’s taken nearly 2 years to get it and now a very pointless exercise. My other rentals are empty, but the bills still need to be paid on them. The Madeira government don’t have the finances to assist business owners like me in my sector, so there has been no help given to us at all. I counted down the days to get on the plane again back to my family as I had booked to go for Christmas.
I got back mid December and have been ‘stuck’ here ever since. I am not complaining about it, even though it is cold as I am doing what I did before, back and forth between my parents and my grandchildren and as I write this, I am back in the Isle of Wight having some time with my sister. And yes for anyone who is know questioning about the law and the travels bans, well…I have flouted them all and will continue to do so as despite what you might see on the telly, we all need to get on with some semblance of a life. I haven’t worn my mask once since I got here and I’ve been out and about to the places that are open, not that there are many. I am also blessed with a likeminded family who mostly identify with some of my points of view and we have the ability between us to debate over dictate. And this has been the best medicine and preserving my dwindling sanity.
But I will end this post on that note, as this one is really a catch up and my next posts are going to be on a variety of topics all related to Confib and the plandemic and how I have arrived to my now firm and entrenched point of view, in that it is all a load of bollocks. And for anyone who is reading this and doesn’t agree – then sod off and don’t bother reading anything else I am going to write from now on. This is my parapet and I am going to do a lot of ranting from it!