Chinese traders in Madeira are not complaining
FN reported last week that despite the high profile of coronavirus, or COVID-19 as t has been officially named, and the paranoia surrounding it, Chinese traders in Madeira have nothing to complain about, as they found out by visiting several establishments in central Funchal. The people they surveyed, both employees and business owners, had not noticed any decrease in movement or usual business activity. Nor have they received any discriminatory treatment.
In the Bazar do Povo, one of the largest establishments in the centre owned by Chinese traders, it is the employees themselves who do not notice any difference in the usual volume of purchases and demand. One of them went so far as to tell FN of the cancellation of one or two orders from China but stressed that this is absurd, as the virus does not transmit in this way and even if it did, it would have time to die before the products allegedly infected arrived here.
The Madeiran employees the website spoke to in some of the increasing numbers of Chinese stores are, like everyone else, aware that this coronavirus situation is to be taken seriously and taken care of, but they honestly believe some of the reactions are exaggerated. This, they stress, is a disease like so many others that have previously appeared. It is advisable to take the necessary precautions, but do not get into paranoia.
Meanwhile, in the centre of Funchal, there seems to be someone who is taking everything too seriously. Protective masks for the face are already being sold in pharmacies. In Funchal, the FN journalist observed people with their faces covered by them. But they seem to be isolated cases, although pharmacy workers are aware of people’s concerns.
The Telegraph explains that the acronym stands for coronavirus disease 2019, as the illness was first detected toward the end of last year.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director General of the World Health Organization, noted that the new name makes no reference to any of the people, places or animals associated with the coronavirus. The goal was to avoid stigma. Under international guidelines, the W.H.O. “had to find a name that did not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people, and which is also pronounceable and related to the disease,” he said on Twitter.