Greece was often praised for its authoritarian approach to the scamdemic. You may remember the Guardian and BBC claiming that, while our evil government committed genocide by negligence, Greece’s draconian lockdown had cured the country of covid. Of course, it had not. The lockdown gave the economy another good kick but, as the table shows, Greece has fared relatively badly in terms of covid deaths.
Greece has, in fact, done worse than Britain, despite Boris Johnson’s attempts to kill off the poor and those from ethnic minorities – a fake news scandal the BBC reported with such glee. At the BBC, racism must be sniffed out in all its forms; it took only a few weeks to discover that covid was also racist.
Moreover, Greece has managed to fare worse than the average in the paradise known as the EU.
I suspect there is good reason for that, and the EU really is to blame for it. The austerity imposed on Greece prompted many, generally younger people, to emigrate. Although the Greek economy is now recovering, having enjoyed life in London, Queens, Sydney or even Mr Castro-Trudeau’s authoritarian hell-hole that is Canada, few of the youngsters are coming back. Moreover, those moving to the Hellenic Republic are largely old crusties from Northern Europe, buying holiday homes near the Med. Hence, the median age here is 45.6 years and rising. Back in Airstrip One, it is 40.6.
We know that the average age of covid death is 83. So, more old crumblies equals more deaths. In other words, Greece was always going to take a hit, whatever it did. Incidentally, that is probably why Wales (median age 42.6) has suffered more covid cases than England (median age 40.5). The draconian policies of Mark Drakeford were never going to overcome demographics; they merely made life back in the rain sodden, second world, post industrial province ever more miserable. Not that anyone in the Welsh political class dares to point that out.
But, hell’s teeth, why let data, or “the science”, get in the way of suppressing one’s liberties? Greek policies have been a total waste of time, so? Let’s have more of them! The kids still wear masks in school, even here in Kambos, where shops and restaurants no longer bother with the law. Old ladies still wander down the street, masked up, in the belief that this somehow makes them safer. Sometimes, staff in the Kourounis taverna wear masks. Sometimes, they do not. At what used to be Miranda’s, nobody masks up.
In the Cities, it is worse. In Kalamata, one must show proof of double vaccination and, of course, wear a mask, just to get into a shop. To enter the Scandinavian furniture store, needing a new mattress for the hovel, I donned a mask, which I slipped down my face as soon as I got past the security guard. But he also demanded to see my vaccine form. I scrolled down my phone and showed him a Passenger Locator Form, guessing, correctly, that those working here as security guards are unlikely to read English. I could have shown him the latest email from the MCC, or Wrexham Council’s bin reminder email, and would still have made it in. I wonder: how many security guards could read the Welsh Language emails the council sends me?
I sense adherence to the rules is slipping. At Kalamata airport, I was not forced to mask up, as I had been at Christmas, and a few other passengers also made it through passport control without one. But, generally, the rules are being followed. Greece is used to authoritarian leaders, only becoming a democracy within my lifetime (1974). In the end, the folks will, however, realise they are being conned.