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Happy New Year!
 
On behalf of the APPDR committee we wish you a happy and healthy 2021! The festive season this year throughout the world was different but I hope that you had a good time wherever you celebrated.
 
Of course, there is not much to report in terms of APPDR activities especially as new lock down procedures have just recently been put in place quickly after the extended holiday period. This said, the committee remains focused on our key deliverables and preparing for the AGM scheduled for 1st April.
 
New Year – new opportunities
I don´t know about you but for me there is something about the start of a new year. Many of us take the opportunity to re-think our lives and look for new interests to pursue as well as to re-focus on continuing with and improving on our existing interests and hobbies.
 
If you are still searching for a rewarding new activity, whether you live here at PDR or even overseas, please consider volunteering to get involved with APPDR. I am sure that all our committee members and background helpers will agree that the work is interesting and rewarding, and that the workload is not too onerous and can be fitted into their spare time.
 
Ondrej Novodvorsky, who lives with his young family in Descobertas, agreed late last year to get involved and the plan is that, subject to formal approval at the AGM, Ondrej will become my Vice Chairman with effect from 1st April. The plan is that I will prepare Ondrej to become my successor as Chairman at the AGM in 2022. Ondrej is already getting involved and I am sure he will do an excellent job for us all. If you would like to talk to me about how you could get involved please email me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call be on +351 91 386 1958 and I will be pleased to discuss it with you.
 
Covid 19
In closing this month I just want to share what my wife and I have just gone through with Covid to illustrate just how dangerous Covid can be.
 
We were lucky enough to get to stay with our daughter and family in the UK for the Festive season – we had not seen them in the previous 12 months. In December it was not necessary to have a negative test to enter the UK, but we needed to self isolate in their home for 10 days. After this time we were allowed to go out and exercise whilst complying with tightening restrictions imposed by the UK government.
 
For our return journey to Portugal we and all the other passengers on our flight needed to test negative for Covid within 3 days of departure. We took full precautions whilst transiting through the airports and whilst on the plane, and throughout the flight, mask wearing was mandatory.
 
When we got back to PDR we opted to self isolate at home for a week. At the end of this week we received a phone call from the Portuguese Health Service advising us that 3 people on our return flight had the virus and that we should self isolate for a further period and have another test. Thankfully we have just heard the news that we again tested negative.
The lessons that we have learnt through this experience are :-
 
1.Even when all passengers on an aeroplane have tested negative within 72 hours before flying, it is possible that someone can then contract the virus prior to embarcation and thus pose a threat to other travellers.
2.Had we been infected during the flight and not self isolated on a voluntary basis back here at PDR how many of our friends could we have infected in the following days?

Sobering thoughts, stay safe, until next month.
John

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