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  • Lou Duro

A FEW WORDS ABOUT “THE VIRUS”


Since no one else is talking about this mysterious virus which is rapidly spreading across the world – and since there is nothing else to do while we hibernate in our home and office, we thought we’d write a few words to fill the gap. Sure, there are probably a few George Orwell or Michael Crichton wannabes pecking away at keyboards while we speak, but we would just like to make a point, or two, on something, in particular, that’s bothering the hell out of us. Of course, we’re referring to the “un-informed” or “miss-informed” (okay, let’s call a spade a spade – “fake news reporters”) with serious cases of writers’ diarrhea. For example, we’re fed up with these people telling us how bad conditions are in the United States, and why isn’t the American government (Trump) doing a better job in controlling the outbreak. Some substitute “America” for “China” because between these two countries there are over 150 million reported cases of the dreaded bug. Of course, these people, tapping made-up messages on their cell phones, don’t stop to think that the two biggies have a combined population of nearly two billion citizens.

LATEST NEWS: Greece will start receiving 3 million doses of the potential Covid-19 vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford in collaboration with AstraZeneca if it passes phase four of the clinical trial. These trials have reached phase three while phase four is expected to be completed in November.

Well, our point is there is only one truly realistic way to measure the outbreak of the virus, and which countries have the most serious situations – and that’s on a per capita basis. How many cases per one million citizens certainly tells a more accurate story. And, in many cases, it’s these countries which are contributing the least in the world’s “fight” against the bug.

So, on this per capita basis, the most dangerous virus-stricken country is Switzerland! That’s right. That little land of lakes and cheese with holes, most famous for its armament of little red pocket knives, seems to be doing the least in controlling this horrid situation, according to this recent chart prepared by leading researchers. As you can plainly see in the accompanying chart, the United States is 10th on the list and China is a distant 13th.

So, it stands to reason, the country that hasn’t fired a shot in anger since 1920, is in n-way neutral when it comes to spreading the virus. Countries like China, Great Britain, and the United States, with a combined total of well over 100,000 cases, are doing the most to combat this unseen enemy of the people, with all of its most prominent scientists working diligently on coming up with a vaccine.

Meanwhile, this so-called “second wave” of virus infections that the experts had predicted is looking more like a tsunami as many countries, including our precious Greece and its beautiful islands, including our own Crete, have reported the highest daily increase in infectious cases since the start of the pandemic and is on course to join the UK quarantine red list. Also, just a few other examples: Croatia has registered 151 new cases in the past 24 hours and it is thought numbers are rising because of eased rules on nightlife. And, officials in France are considering more restrictions as that country’s infection count has surged in recent weeks, which led to the UK re-imposing quarantine measures for Britons. France reported 3,310 new infections in a single day last Saturday, August 15, and the rate of positive tests has been growing and is now at 2.6%. And the beat goes on.


Those good old days. We remember when this medical disaster was in its early stages, Greece and Crete were considered the safest places on the planet, with the scale registering 0%. When other locations were reporting a continuous increase in virus cases, Crete, one of the first places to require social distancing and face masks remained at 0% for the longest time, Then, the tourist season began! Of course, those from virus-infected countries couldn’t wait to get out, and what safer place to visit than virus-free Crete. Along with their beach clothes, they packed up a bug or two. But the travelers are not solely to be blamed. Many locales have thrown caution to the wind totally disregarding “social distancing,” attending jam-packed street fairs and other holiday and religious celebrations even though the experts say the Coronavirus could travel five metres through air. Among the new or re-issued, measures in Greece and the other islands is for restaurants and bars to close at midnight, causing the wrath of some saloon keepers.

“Everyone has come to eat their food, to entertain themselves, swim in the sea. At this moment, we are fooling them,” said one sea-front taverna owner from a nearby island. “We told them ‘come to Greece’ and Greece has shut down.”


Sure, businesses are suffering, and, in turn, the country is losing the sorely-needed tax dollar. But, more importantly, people are suffering even more – and dying. Is that the price we must pay for the greed of the shop keeper or business owner?


As a long-time resident of Crete, we’re amazed at the attitude of these otherwise decent and friendly people. While Sofia and I, and our close friends Tony and Chris Bowes, and a handful of others, strictly adhere to any and all virus-related regulations, and will never enter a shop without a face mask, which supposed to be mandatory and carries with it a 150 Euro (about $190) fine if caught without one.


In a recent personal experience, I was making a purchase at one of my regular shops In Kokkini Hani, when a couple of “maskless” tourists came in, possible leaving an army of Coronaviruses in their path. I looked at the owner of the shop, who was standing protectively behind a thick glass wall, and said: “Why are you serving them without a mask.” Her reply was: "Hey, what can I do? We can’t force them to wear the mask. If the police come by they’ll get a big fine.” To which I replied: “You could refuse to serve them, that’s what you could do! . . . what do I care about their fine if I’m restricted to the virus ward at University Hospital!”


Ah, greedy people . . . that extra sale . . . the curse of the world, always and forever. But, in this case, we take it personally!


(Author’s Note: Covid-19 is rapidly changing. At the time of this writing, all of the above is based on personal experience and up-to-the-minute research).

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