It has been a pleasure and a relief that our community has witnessed the rollback of the containment measures imposed by the pandemic. Thus, the limitation of dangerous contacts, capacity limits in commercial enterprises or the requirement to obtain a digital certificate (except for border control) is over.
The passive test requirement for access to major events, sporting venues, bars and nightclubs and the mandatory maintenance of teleworking has also ended. Portugal, which has managed to handle the pandemic close to model, is waving another strong sign of confidence.
Now, after the legislative elections, where voters have unequivocally expressed the value they place on stability, who governs us and who will govern well knows that the times ahead will be of great focus in the country’s economy. And speaking of the economy, PRR will play an important role in the way Portugal will develop from now on.
Current indicators do not disappoint, with national GDP rising above the OECD average, posting 1.6% growth in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Having highlighted the inevitability of a coherent strategy to strengthen our economy, it is important not to neglect the current state of our society, that is, of our people. I dare say no one is currently living the same way they did two years ago.
In addition to productivity rates, the isolation caused by remote work, especially in those who had never practiced it before, was very disruptive and not always for the better. Workers have lost the habits of sharing and socializing, which have somehow been proven to be necessary in the course of work.
Therefore, as a result of this epidemic, the combination of various labor changes has certainly led to a weakening of some skills, namely emotional skills. The same thing happened with young people, especially adolescents between the ages of 13 and 16, who, according to a study by the University of Coimbra, recorded “an increase in negative emotions, such as sadness, fear and anger, and in symptoms of anxiety and a decrease in happiness”.
This “epidemic grief” is a phenomenon on a global scale, with an emphasis on the Western world. For example, before and during the pandemic, the UK nearly doubled the number of adults considered depressed (10% vs 19%, data from the National Bureau of Statistics) and the US almost quadrupled this percentage (11% vs 42% data from the CDC) and prevention).
Right next door, in Spain, the government has allocated €100 million to a plan aimed at strengthening the fight against mental illness, something that has not happened since 2009. Although considered a palliative, it is still a solid step towards the challenge to come, which is mental health care for people.
Portugal and its rulers will surely take care of the Portuguese, because happier people will be more productive professionals, thus generating a positive epidemic in terms of the economy.
“Writer. Analyst. Avid travel maven. Devoted twitter guru. Unapologetic pop culture expert. General zombie enthusiast.”