Peter Wilton-Davies and Helen Gray, 51 and 45 years old, have been out of England for 10 years and emphasize the advantages of living in Serra da Lousã, in the municipality of Castanheira de Pera, in the district of Leiria.

“We are very happy to be quarantined in Portugal and not in other parts of the world. The Portuguese people were very careful and attentive and started isolation before it became a law”, says Peter to the Lusa agency.

For the couple, isolation "is more difficult for people in cities", while "in the countryside life continues" without major disturbances.

"I am happy to be here and not in the UK, where conditions and restrictions are not so good," he adds.

Peter Wilton-Davies, who in the land of Natal exercised the profession of graphic artist, has chosen to buy fruits and vegetables in a nearby farm.

Helen works in the areas of marketing and fundraising.

For professional reasons, she often went to London, which she is now prevented from doing.

“My work has increased a lot in recent weeks due to the creation of ‘online’ content (…) and the creation of educational and entertaining videos for children and adults”, she tells Lusa.

While working remotely for a British charity, her life “hasn't changed much”.

"I take the dogs for a walk (...) and there are daily deliveries of bread and vegetables in the villages", says Helen Gray, indicating that essential goods are missing from the stores.

The couple admits that their skills in the language of Camões and Saramago have been “a little rusty” recently.

“Peter has not visited the social centre of the village of Pera, where he is part of the team of volunteers” who manage the association, explains Helen, who also “cannot go to the weekly Portuguese class”.

Desiring that Portugal "can resume normal life", Helen and Peter expect "changes and lessons" after the pandemic, with "respect for others and less consumerism".

Belgian Aaron Vansant, 32, came as a child to Oliveira do Hospital, where he works in a family business that sells asparagus and various seeds, including indigenous varieties.

In March, already in a state of emergency, baby Laura was born, his first daughter.

Added to this joy of the Vansants is the favourable business evolution, which Aaron promotes with his father and brother, Peter and Micha.

“The pandemic affects our activity positively”, he added to Lusa.

People “try to keep themselves busy in the garden”, in addition to fearing possible failures in access to plant foods, he explains.

"It is a phenomenon that we had already seen in the 2008 crisis. Then, everything returns to the same, unfortunately", predicts the producer.

The company imports seeds and exports some products to Angola and Belgium.

Portuguese-Brazilian publicist Leonardo Simões, with remote roots in Serra da Lousã, resides in Coimbra.

Born in Brazil, 33 years ago, he came with his parents, sister and aunt to Lousã, where these family members settled in 2019.

“I had a great welcome from the Portuguese community. I have nothing to point out, here I made many friends and business partners”, he congratulates.

In professional terms, it suffered “a negative but controlled impact”, following the restrictions associated with covid-19.

"Some customers asked me to temporarily end the provision of digital marketing services because of the crisis", he adds, when questioned by Lusa.

However, through telecommuting, he continues to provide services to clients in Brazil and Portugal, "with the same or even better quality".

Leonardo, who spends almost "all the time at home" with a Portuguese girlfriend, already feels "the lack of outdoor activities".

“The first impact I suffered was the cut in financing by Portuguese banks. I was negotiating the purchase of an apartment, but I had to postpone it”, reveals the computer programmer.

In his opinion, it will be necessary to “learn from what is happening, so that there is more preparation for the future”.

German resident Detlef Schafft, 65, has been in Portugal for almost 40 years.

He is an actor, clown and musician, developing his work at Lousã, at Companhia Marimbondo, founded 30 years ago.

In 2019, Detlef and Eva Cabral created the Momo Circus Museum, in partnership with the Chamber.

“The museum is closed, since it is a municipal space. Online yoga classes continue, except that the company has “all shows cancelled”, in some cases until August.

This situation “was a cold shower” for Marimbondo.

“We were going to continue with a lot of activities at Momo and we had to cancel concerts and shows”, in addition to participating in international festivals in Germany and Finland.

Detlef rejects some restrictions imposed by the state of emergency.

“We can't even play on the street to cheer people up”, he criticizes.

The artist also protests against the way “how culture is being treated”.

“Especially the circus, which again does not receive any support from the State. It will be a destroyed year. Our work depends completely on the interaction with people and many projects will not even be premiered”, concludes Detlef Schafft.