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Mac's Poll - Let's Vote

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POLL: How do you think second-home buyers and sellers will react to the current pandemic situation?
19 January 2021

Whilst Covid-19 is still casting a shadow of uncertainty over people's lives, the pandemic has pushed people to reassess how they might use a second home, and a trend towards longer stays in sunny climates combined with extended periods of remote working is emerging.

With vaccination now well underway across the globe, there is an air of cautious optimism surrounding the Spanish property market, with potential buyers making enquiries about homes both on the mainland and the Spanish islands.

The property portal thinkSPAIN has seen a 47% rise in buyer enquiries during the first five days of 2021 compared with 2020, with a 19% rise in UK/English language enquiries over the same period, following on from a 66% year-on-year increase in 2020.

How do you think second-home buyers and sellers will react to the current pandemic situation?

 

Please cast your vote and leave a comment:

 
 
If you were a second-home buyer in Spain, how would you react to the current pandemic?
No change at all - I would continue with my plans to buy - lockdown permitting
Postpone all my plans for at least 6 months
Become much more price-sensitive - Waiting for prices to drop and bargains to appear on the market
Speed up my purchase plans - I would have more interest in buying
Cancel all plans to purchase
Not sure
 
 
 
 
 
 
Created with Survey maker
 
 
 
If you were a second-home seller in Spain, how would you react to the current pandemic?
I wouldn't change my plans at all (assuming you can afford to do so)
I would drop the asking price to find a buyer and sell (assuming you can afford to do so)
I would take the property off the market until times improved (assuming you can afford to do so)
Not sure
 
 
 
 
 
 


Like 0        Published at 17:59   Comments (3)


Poll - Are you worried which vaccine you get?
08 January 2021

A doctor has urged people to get one of the two coronavirus vaccines as soon as they possibly can. In response to a tweet by a colleague and former Labour MP Dr Paul Williams saying "Some local patients have turned down an offer this weekend of getting a Covid vaccine when they found out it was the Pfizer one. 'I'll wait for the English one'." It stated.

Dr Simon Stockley, from Stockton, said he did not think there was a difference between the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Oxford-AstraZeneca version. "The best vaccine as far as I can work out is the one that can be put into your arm soonest," he said.

The US/German Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was made available at the start of December, while the Oxford-AstraZeneca version was authorised on 30 December. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said both vaccines were safe. 

The vast majority of people are still vulnerable to coronavirus. It's only the current restrictions that are preventing more people from dying. Vaccines teach our bodies to fight the infection by stopping us from catching coronavirus or at least making Covid less deadly. Having a vaccine, alongside better treatments, is "the" exit strategy. 

The two vaccines being rolled out at the moment are the Pfizer- BioNtech and the Oxford-AstraZeneca. However, the Spanish government has signed agreements with six different vaccine manufacturers which will de deployed as and when they are ready and authorised.

Are you worried which one you will get? Please cast your vote:

Info about both vaccines:

Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine - USA/Germany
The big breakthrough came when Pfizer-BioNTech published its first results in November. They showed the vaccine is up to 95% effective.
The UK is due to get 40 million doses. It is given in two doses, three weeks apart.
The vaccine must be stored at a temperature of around -70C. It will be transported in a special box, packed in dry ice and installed with GPS trackers.
On 2 December, the UK became the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for widespread use.


Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine - UK
The roll-out of the Oxford vaccine began on 5 January. It was approved late in 2020 after trials showed that it stopped 70% of people developing Covid symptoms.
The data also showed a strong immune response in older people.
There is also intriguing data that suggests perfecting the dose could increase protection up to 90%
The UK has ordered 100 million doses. It is given in two doses
This may be one of the easiest vaccines to distribute because it does not need to be stored at very cold temperatures.
It is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus from chimpanzees, that has been modified to not grow in humans.

 
Are you worried which vaccine you get?
No, I'll take the first one that I have available
Not really, but I do have a preference for the Oxford vaccine
Not really, but I do have a preference for the Pfizer vaccine
Yes, I only want the Oxford vaccine
Yes, I only want the Pfizer vaccine
Not sure yet
 
 
 
 
 
 
Created with Quiz Maker


Like 1        Published at 17:51   Comments (14)


Notice : Old Polls not available
08 January 2021

Hi All,

 

For some reason, the website I was using previously to carry out all the polls has unexplainably disappeared without trace or notification. Extremely strange but Addpoll.com doesn't seem to be active anymore and thus all previous polls have become unavailable. I will be using a new service until I can recover the Addpoll service if it does actually return that is...

 

Regards to all.



Like 0        Published at 16:58   Comments (0)


Poll: Should Spain introduce a Vaccination card?
30 December 2020

 

The president of Andalusia's Regional Government, Juanma Moreno, has confirmed that he and his colleagues are looking into the possibility of issuing some kind of "certificate" of vaccination or "vaccine card" against covid-19 which will allow the holder to travel, go to football matches and other big event venues. However, he also stressed that vaccination will never be compulsory. Moreno made the comments to journalists during a press conference held in the Sierra Nevada ski resort in Granada, explaining that whilst vaccination will not be obligatory, a certificate of vaccination might well become compulsory in order to be able to travel or to take part in certain activities.

The regional president reiterated that the authorities could not make anyone have the vaccination against their will, but that it was a "moral obligation that we owe to ourselves and to others" and that it in no way infringed anyone's personal liberties.

He did, however, emphasise that in the near future, participation in some activities would require a vaccination certificate, the format of which is still being studied. It could be in the form of an identity card or a QR code, but it would prove "categorically" that the holder had been vaccinated.

As an example of restricted activities, Moreno mentioned football matches, concerts and other events where large crowds of people get together - none of which will be accessible without either this certificate or a negative PCR test carried out in the previous 72 hours.

"In short, it is a guarantee", he summarised, confirming that proof of vaccination would indeed become compulsory to attend this type of large-scale event. Something that will probably be introduced across Europe.

This begs the question if you create a vaccination card are you not effectively making vaccinations compulsory?

It's not that I am against vaccinations, anything but, however, if someone does decide not to be vaccinated does that mean they will effectively be sidelined as citizens not being able to access or uses public and even private services? Will you need a vaccination card to go on a bus, a plane or a train? Go into a cinema, restaurant or nightclub? Where will the line be drawn? If your freedom can be limited by a vaccination card is it the right thing to introduce or is general public safety more important than one's personal freedom? 

Please leave your comments and cast your vote?

 

 

 

 
Should Spain introduce a Vaccination Card?
Yes
No
Not Sure
 
 
 
 
 
 
Created with QuizMaker


Like 2        Published at 22:43   Comments (16)


The value of speaking a second language - How well do you speak Spanish?
03 November 2020

## ADDPOLL  website is not working - POLLS not available at present ##

George Orwell wrote in 1938: "The only way I could get along was to carry everywhere a small dictionary which I whipped out of my pocket at moments of crisis. But I would sooner be a foreigner in Spain than in most countries. How easy it is to make friends in Spain!"

 More than 70 years after the publication of Homage to Catalonia, hundreds of thousands of Orwell's fellow countrymen have followed his lead.

The global Spanish language standards entity, based in Madrid, revealed this week that as at the beginning of 2020, the national tongue of Spain and much of Latin America had a total of 585 million speakers.

They include those who have had to learn it, or whose main native language is not Spanish, as well as mother-tongue speakers – and, as has been the case for a very long time, the country with the most native Spanish speakers is the USA, a nation where it is not even the official language.

Of the 7.5% of the world's population who speak Spanish, a total of 489 million were born in a country where it is the official language, and the remaining 74 million are either learning it or are already fluent in it. So, as you can see Spanish is spreading quickly but there are more benefits to speaking Spanish than just communicating.

Research has shown,  using Spanish in everyday situations and sticking to regular classes can help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease, say, doctors.

Learning a foreign language could put back the first signs of dementia by at least five years, 

Expatriates in Spain are at a particular advantage since those who regularly use the language they have learnt are even more likely to fight off Alzheimer's than those who have merely studied one and let it lay dormant. Whilst crosswords, sudokus and other 'thinking' puzzles have long been lauded as a tool for fighting off memory loss and confusion in old age, experts believe that those who speak two or more languages have even more chance of retaining their mental faculties.

They say learning a language is a more powerful type of mental exercise, and builds up a bank of 'spare' brainpower which helps the mind to keep working for longer and more effectively, slowing down the debilitating effects of Alzheimer's.

Medics behind the research, which took place at York University in Toronto, Canada, say this is rather like keeping a spare battery for your mobile phone or an emergency tank of petrol in your car.

"It means your brain can keep going for longer because there is more in the safety tank," they say.

The part of the brain that controls memory, decision-making, reasoning and expressing oneself in words is made stronger, more flexible and more resistant to damage by learning and using a foreign language.

Doctors claim the sooner a person starts to learn a language, the more beneficial it is for slowing down the process of dementia and age-related confusion.

Researchers found that the average Alzheimer's sufferer began to see the early symptoms of their condition in their mid-70s, or younger, where they only spoke one language.

But those who spoke two or more languages - or were actively learning one - tended to be in their 80s before they were diagnosed with dementia.

Additionally, the process of the mind breaking down - including loss of short-term memory - took hold much more rapidly in monolingual patients.

However, they warn that learning a language will not actually prevent Alzheimer's - it will simply slow down the associated mental deterioration and stop the condition from manifesting itself for much longer.

 

To help clarify some of the options :

  • "Fluent", I would describe as having no difficulty discussing any topic that you could discuss in your mother tongue. The odd grammatical mistake may happen, even as it does when using your mother tongue. We all make grammatical errors every day without realising it most of the time, but they normally go unnoticed. You would also have very good control of the phonological features of the language.

 

  • "Having a decent conversation" is basically being able to talk about most topics that you would in your mother tongue but you may be occasionally limited by vocabulary or grammar but most certainly able to communicate with a good degree of fluency although with some degree of hesitation. You would also have good control of the phonological features of the language.

 

  • "Enough to get by and be understood" would fall short of being able to produce well constructed and extended discourse, but you would be able to communicate and be understood. But your vocabulary is limited as would be your phonological control of the language.

So please cast your vote:

 

 



Like 0        Published at 18:56   Comments (4)


POLL- Would you be willing to have a COVID vaccine when they become available?
27 October 2020

## ADDPOLL website not working - POLLS not available at present ##

 

Typically, the creation and rigorous testing of a vaccine can take up to 15 years. However, since January academics and pharmaceutical companies have been working around the clock to complete a COVID vaccine in record time and many people are wary of the end result.

In a recent survey, 66% of adults said they would get a vaccine when one becomes available, with 15% opting not to. However, nearly a fifth (19%) were unsure of whether they would or not. Supposing that vaccines will not be compulsory... will you have one when they become available? Please cast your vote...

 

 

 



Like 0        Published at 19:57   Comments (6)


The tallest cross in the world - Should it be demolished?
17 September 2020

 


The Valley of the Fallen is a monumental complex located in the Madrid town of San Lorenzo del Escorial. One of its main elements is the Cross of the Valley of the Fallen. The complex has been part of the National Heritage since its opening, which took place on April 1, 1959.

Francisco Franco ordered its construction, and he was buried there next to José Antonio Primo de Rivera up until his exhumation last October. The burial place of Spain's fascist dictator General Francisco Franco had been the subject of fierce debate for decades. But the final chapter arrived on 24 October 2019. The government exhumed and moved Franco's remains to a cemetery in Madrid. But why were there calls for Franco's remains to be moved in the first place? And why has the issue proved so controversial?

Franco ruled Spain from 1939 until his death in 1975. He was buried in a mausoleum within the Valley of the Fallen, leading to the site becoming a shrine for the far-right and thus loathed by many Spaniards. Spain's socialist government wanted the Valley of the Fallen to become "a place of commemoration, remembrance and homage to the victims of the war". It saw the presence of Franco's remains there as an affront to a mature democracy.

Many descendants of Franco's victims supported the idea of burying his remains elsewhere. But the issue has largely split public opinion across Spain.
Last August, despite objections from his closest family and the right-wing parties, the government approved the exhumation. It wanted to find a more low-key burial place where the dictator's followers would find it harder to pay tribute but also distance the dictator from the bodies of so many fallen soldiers.

Now he is not there, the Government has taken a further step just this week. Their intention is to make the priests leave the priory and for it to become a civil burial ground. This now leads on to the next discussion, if they want the complex to be a civil burial ground what do you do with the cross? The debate has started and some are pushing for it to be demolished.  The cross is without a doubt one of the most remarkable features of the Valley of the Fallen. It stands just above the Basilica. It is the highest Christian Cross in the world measuring 150m from the base. At the foot of the Cross, we can observe the statues of the four evangelists, as well as the symbols that correspond to each of them: Luke and the bull, Matthew and the winged man, John and the eagle, and Mark and the lion. As for the arms of the cross, they measure 46.40 meters each and it is possible to see it more than 40 kilometres away.

 


Inside there is an elevator that allows you to go up to the top. The Cross of the Fallen was made of reinforced concrete and covered with berrugo masonry and carved stone. To put its height into perspective, the Cross of Jesus in Rio de Janeiro is just 38m tall from the base, the Statue of Liberty is 93m from the base and St Paul's Cathedral is 111m to the tip of the main spire.


Given the magnitude of the construction and that it is a symbol of religious faith, do you think that it should be demolished because its construction was ordered by Franco? Please cast your vote.



Like 0        Published at 17:17   Comments (16)


How well do you handle Spain's Summer heat?
04 September 2020

The summer is pretty much coming to an end here but the heat is still on. I for one would happily head off to a cooler climate as I find the heat quite unbearable during July and August, especially the humidity in the Valencia region. But the heat keeps attracting people from all over Europe and many can't get enough of it, even though this year saw numbers drop considerably due to the current Covid-19 situation. But truthfully, can you all really handle this sweltering heat? Do you really like it, love it or hate it? Please cast your vote and leave a comment...

 



Like 0        Published at 13:25   Comments (4)


POLL - COVID 19 SPAIN - Do you feel comfortable.....?
10 July 2020

Now that all regions in Spain are now living the "new normal" apart from a handful of places that have been put back into quarantine, it is possible to start seeing how the general population is reacting to this new way of living. Certainly, the first couple of weeks after lockdown was lifted we noticed a large surge of people going to bars for a beer or a snack, now that restaurants are also open as well as cinemas and gyms, it begs the question, just how comfortable are we going to these places, especially when we see new cases popping up all over the country. That said it is to be expected until there is a vaccine. The coronavirus isn't just going to disappear overnight.  So how do you feel about visiting certain places now? taking into consideration that all places are following hygiene guidelines, from what I have observed, and that social distancing, generally speaking, is being respected..Please cast your vote:



Like 1        Published at 11:21   Comments (5)


POLL - Have you enjoyed being at home during lockdown?
09 June 2020

Two months of confinement have helped Spaniards rediscover the benefits of being at home.  A study carried out by ManoMano.es the leading DIY, home and garden marketplace, concluded that  80% of Spaniards claim to have enjoyed being at home during the coronavirus confinement. The reason? They have spent more time with their loved ones, and they have also taken advantage of their free time to carry out small renovations, tidy up and reorganise the house, and other tasks that previously, due to time, they could not have done. 

By spending more time at home, it seems that the Spanish have come to love being at home more than before. The main reason participants enjoyed their homes so much during quarantine was being able to share more time with their loved ones, especially households with children (51%) compared to households without children (31%).  18% also felt more protected and safer at home while 15% said it was because they had more time to organise the house and redecorate it to their liking. How did you find lockdown? Please cast your vote and post your reason in the comments section below...

 

 

 



Like 0        Published at 21:52   Comments (5)


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