Sailing Long Distances

Side effects – an atomic bomb

The Portuguese newspapers cover two top stories, the coronavirus in all perspectives and on its heels the severe impact on the economy. 
In earlier conversations to Portuguese, long before the virus spread to Europe, we learned, the collapse of the economy in the years of the financial crisis 2008 is still in good recollection. Especially for those who are in their late forties or fifties now, people who got out of a well-paid job had no chance reestablishing themselves, people who are on minimum income today. The European Central Bank bailed Portugal out, and years of growth and prosperity followed. From a visitor’s point of view, the country is modern, including robust infrastructure, a booming housing market, and tourism industry. The setback of 2020 is unprecedented. A local paper quoted a hotel manager who said the virus is like an atomic bomb dropped on the Algarve. We do the best to keep our staff as long as we can. Most businesses will go belly up at the end of April, so his prediction. 
Since law-abiding people need a reason strolling around, we were in a desperate need for further information and went to the marina office, a good twenty minutes of walk one direction. The office is accessible by a sliding door, a table right in the entrance is the latest invention for social distances.
The lady in charge was happy for a small chat and explained the situation of the marina. She said, on the financial side, the marina did exceedingly well over the last decade and can cope with a temporary setback. After the financial crisis of 2008, the owner of the smaller motorboats got into trouble. They had no money either for paying the rates or for maintenance. A lot went out for a cruise, lost the engine, and had to be towed in. This time it will be different, so her concern, more severe, more drastic. Worst hit will be the owners of the middle and big sized ships. We know that many of them run a business in the tourism sector, bought boats on credit, and could get…Read More