COVID19: Released from lockdown but only on parole

2 mins read

We are expected to go out there and get a life now that house arrest has been lifted which is what lockdown amounted to when you boil it down.

The mood music has changed with more schools opening, beaches ready for business and open-air cafés and restaurants attracting customers out of their domestic shell.

I have a hard time getting excited about the lockdown lid being wrenched open, as the virus is still with us while many in the public and private sector treat social distancing as a novelty that has worn off.

Out there in the shops, offices and service centres, those obliged to wear face masks use them to keep their chin warm or don’t wear one at all.

Cypriots either think the enemy is beaten, coronavirus is a conspiracy theory promulgated by Trump to win the next election or a ploy by Big Pharma to sell us a vaccine we don’t need.

These are obviously people who don’t work in the health service or believe they are immune to COVID-19 because they are young, foolish and in good health.

Coronavirus is an enemy to be feared, Cypriots are not seeing it that way.

We were very lucky to escape the clutches of the deadly virus through discipline and a common determination.

But that sense of stoicism is evaporating along with the lockdown.

Understood, people are desperate to get back to normal, hang out with their mates over an iced coffee or beer, meet the opposite sex for some fun and games.

Relatives also need to feel the family bond, to see their parents, grandchildren, sons and daughters.

The faithful want to pay their respects in a house of worship, be able to walk free in a park or public square without seeking permission from Big Brother.

People couldn’t be locked away forever but now we are free to roam the beaches and mountains of this pleasant land with the odds stacked against social distancing being observed.

It’s only natural for us to feel that normality has returned now that our freedom to move unhindered with no more curfews, has been restored.

Cyprus has kept its transmission rate low while containing infections but the virus is here, ready to spread like wildfire if our hygiene regime is compromised.

Now the genie of free will has been let out of the stay at home box, Cypriots do not have the fortitude to keep fighting the enemy.

Summer is here and the parties beckon, it’s time to get up close and personal.

If you have kids they will be in and out of the house, meeting people, mingling, others will be visiting, nobody is going to sit around wearing masks in their own home or sitting 2 metres apart.

Shutting down the economy could not go on indefinitely and due to the swift action taken, Cyprus deserved its freedom but we are on parole.

Failing to follow the rules will see us back on the inside.

Scientists warn there will be a second wave at some point as the virus gets used to the way we behave.

And as Cyprus tentatively opens its borders to save what’s left of its tourist season, the risk of inviting a coronavirus spike also increases.

People arriving in Cyprus from June 9 will have to prove they do not have COVID-19 while Cypriots must take a test on coming into the country.

Britain and Russia are not on the list of approved countries that will initially be allowed to visit Cyprus as their virus situation is not something you want to write on a postcard.

Apart from the cleaner air quality caused by the lockdown, I’ve noticed more people doing exercise to get out of the house during the restrictions.

On any given night during the lockdown, I would see scores of people going out for a walk or a jog when previously I would only see one or two ‘freaks’ exercising.

I presume it has forced many couples to do something together for the first time, maybe even talk to one another, although that might be pushing it.

What does get my goat is when people walk side-by-side across the pavement without bothering to make way when they can see you coming in the opposite direction.

It’s called social distancing FFS.

Stay safe