Project Detail: Last boat to the island


IBSA Foundation Covid19




Ephraim Bieri


Project Info

Last boat to the island

The first Covid-19 Lockdown on Armona Island (Algarve, Portugal)

March 2020. Shops and restaurants have to close their doors in Portugal. It will be a complete lockdown in the whole country because there is a new virus, unknown, spreading through the whole world.
Me and my girlfriend are catching one of the last ships for passengers, heading for Armona island, in the very south of the country. Her grandmother's house will be our home for the next few months.
The government of Portugal decides to close off access to the island to anyone whose primary residence is not on Armona (including those who own a house here). So we share about 1 x 9 km of sand dunes with about 100 people. There are three shops selling the necessities. Products with a short expiration date are not available. We make the yogurt ourselves, fresh fish, vegetables and fruits are sent from family by ship, which arrives three times a day.
It is a strange feeling to live in the unknown. No one really knows how much respect to give to the restrictions and the veracity of news statements: «The hospitals are full, the doctors are working at the limit»
On Armona it is quiet. After weeks the rumor spreads, that a person tested positive is "among us". We still don't know who it was and if it's really true.