It is a special day for us: today (August 12th), we have a fully vaccinated team. Your Friend in Lisbon has 100% vaccinated guides! This brings a new hope and confidence to us. We know, of course, that this isn’t a miracle solution. But we believe it is the first step to get us back to some normal life. And we can now offer more safety to our guides and all the travelers booking tours with us.
The last months have been quite honestly a nightmare for us. Since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, back on 11 March 2020, we felt fear, impotence, sadness. We felt isolation, lostness, tiredness, hope, deception and so many other feelings difficult to translate.
First came the news of deaths in China. Then the tragic situation in Italy, a country that we love and with whom we share the intense latin love for history, good food and wine. After that, the disease spread to all Europe and the rest of the world. Then we got the wave of cancellations. 2020 was looking promising, with thousands of booking that got quickly cancelled.
Dealing with all these cancellations was not easy for us. First the logistics, then the realisation that the tourism industry was going to be completely devastated by this “tsunami”. After that, the fear for our team’s future and families. Still, Your Friend in Lisbon did not ask a single customer to reschedule any of the tours booked. Instead, we offered full refund to each one of them as we knew that this situation was beyond anyone’s control.
First, we believed that it was going to last three or four months, then, until the end of 2020, then the beginning of 2021. And the truth is that this nightmare has been lasting much more than anyone expected, with wave after wave taking lives, jobs and our hope. Until now (August 12th), more than 4,3 million of people have died in all world, an unprecedented situation in our lifetime. It is difficult to emotionally deal with this tragedy and its consequences. But there is hope.
Fully vaccinated guides
The vaccines came as a light at the end of this tunnel. Of course we know they won’t solve the all problem. Actually, the last news speak of a need of a third vaccine shot to boost immunity, but, at this point, we believe they are the most reliable resource to try to control the epidemic.
We also know about the concerns of this being a new vaccine and, for that reason, not knowing the full extent of the effects in a long time period. We are aware of the arguments of the anti-vaccine movement as also of the contestation not to the vaccine itself but to the now spread practice of implementing the digital certificates. We understand the concerns and doubts, but we do believe that the vaccines have saved lives in the last months, specially of older and more fragile people. That is why we are so glad all our guides are vaccinated and all of them have already digital certificates.
Our vaccinated guides are now safer and can offer also more safety. We are all now fully vaccinated with EU approved vaccines: Pfizer, Astra and Moderna. This means we are all more protected and this is obviously good news.
As Europe and the world is reopening we believe it is already the beginning of a new era. Fortunately, the bookings are coming back. Still several cancellations, but there is hope in the air. The streets in Lisbon are regaining their life. We are excited to welcome you and so grateful to see that people haven’t forgotten about us and our beautiful Lisbon.