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COVID19: Cluster’s last stand

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5 mins read

Three weeks in self-isolation takes its toll on trying to discover reasons to be optimistic, especially when I’m supposedly living in the middle of a COVID-19 cluster bomb in Aradippou.

Despite the image of this cosmopolitan Larnaca village being a lawless Mexican border town populated by renegades and bandits, we are law-abiding citizens who want this nightmare to end pronto.

During my toxic confinement of working from home and having a house full of family with different agendas, I sense that most people are consigned to the fact that Cyprus has become a police state overnight.

A vast majority of residents are staying home and not breaking the curfew.

And the mayor has said the outbreak in Aradippou is down to a few people coming from the UK (foreign imports) to attend funerals and spreading it about in a family environment.

This is a proud village, which has surely been embarrassed by hugging the national attention for all the wrong reasons.

Sharing the limelight with Paphos – as a COVID-19 contagion zone – is an added cruelty.

Aradippou looks after its own, it will come good and prove to be too tough for the virus to destroy but it means staying at home and making that essential trip to the supermarket less frequent.

Having said that, every town and village has its fair share of COVIDIOTS who won’t listen, bend the social distancing rules and play roulette with everyone else’s life.

This can be a mixture of spoilt teenagers who understand nothing about social responsibility in times of trouble or the older generation preferring to hang out at the coffee shop or go to church even if they feel a bit icky.

All these places are now out of bounds, but friends are still meeting up to mingle, party, see their partner or visit relatives.

If everyone stayed at home this wouldn’t be happening, now the possibility of a complete lockdown for Aradippou looms large – nothing comes in, nothing goes out.

A plague on all our houses

Such an eventuality will not be forgotten in a hurry, staining the place I live in for a very long time, the responsible many sent to purgatory by the few.

Certainly, one of the best tools for overcoming the health emergency is mass testing on an industrial scale.

Although the authorities launched free testing in Paphos and Aradippou – so-called hotspots – many thousands more are needed.

Telling people to stay at home, restricting their movement and shutting down the economy is merely a delaying tactic to starve the virus of more victims.

But only mass testing of the population will bring this invisible enemy into the light where it can be tracked down and isolated with pin-prick precision.

Unlesss we know who has it and where it is, we are basically fumbling in the dark with a loaded pistol.

There has to be a mission to seek and destroy the COVID enemy while there is no nuclear option.

Cyprus has to avoid the kind of unprecedented fatalities that Italy and Spain are having to deal with Britain coming up fast from the rear.

We must stay indoors as even a trip to the supermarket is fraught with dangers.

I don’t understand the people waiting in long queues outside a supermarket in close proximity to each other while even inside you are not safe.

Anywhere outside your home is a potential danger zone unless you are in a chemical suit with an oxygen tank on your back.

At the best of times, I’m an amateur hypochondriac, this situation has just elevated my paranoia into the stratosphere.

I’m so far out there in COVID Lalaland, there’s no way of knowing how to get back to Normal Street.

Well, there won’t be any going back if they quarantine Aradippou, a town that wouldn’t listen to the deadly cough in the back row.

Stay Home. Stay Safe.