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COVID19: Living with the new normal feels familiar

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I’m guessing by now that for you lockdown is a distant memory, you’re not washing hands as often as before and those conspiracy theories are sounding more believable.

Although still feeling uncomfortable about venturing outside, I have taken a look around Larnaca and didn’t find too much evidence of social distancing in outdoor bars and restaurants.

There seems to be a strange irony that indoor hospitality facilities are out of bounds but people are allowed to queue up inside for their coffee while breathing germs on each other.

I have also come across kiosks who believe in the old ways of paper money, they don’t do contactless payments despite government health warnings.

Face masks appear to be optional for those serving customers – be it beauticians, barbers, receptionists or shop assistants.

In short, there is no new normal, but a bastardised version of the old normal that lost its parents in a storm only to be adopted by an anonymous couple.

People want their daily routines back, they fear the unknown and isolation more than the deadly virus.

I have the luxury of staying home to work, there are many who do not, whether frontline workers or those that need to pay the bills, even during a health crisis.

It does take mental toughness and determination to keep disciplined in the face of the invisible enemy but fatigue plays its part.

Also, it is hard to go against the grain when the rest of society is slowly looking the other way, feeling the worst is over now the salvage work has begun.

Despite a cavalier approach to social distancing and hygiene, touching, hugs, a kiss on the cheek all seem to have become so last century.

Unfortunately, there are many who believe that coronavirus isn’t a real thing, but an elaborate marketing ploy to make the rich richer by changing the world trade order.

Or its some kind of dastardly scheme to keep tabs on us through a vaccine acting like a microchip that allows 5G networks to monitor our every move.

You just can’t see it yet, but it’s happening, coronavirus is a game-changer for the power elites who really rule the world.

Is it a coincidence that superpowers Russia, China, the USA are the ones who really screwed up followed by other large wannabe economies like the UK, Italy and Brazil.

Trump tweet

Just like a Donald Trump tweet, it’s all beginning to make sense once you suspend logic, extract common sense out of the equation.

Closing your eyes to coronavirus doesn’t mean it has gone away, it’s still killing people and highly contagious.

Fortunately, we live on an island where the authorities did take the virus seriously, didn’t underestimate its impact while listening to the science.

Politicians that heed advice leading to unpopular or difficult decisions is a rare occurrence.

Because it took the hard choices, avoided going down the path of herd immunity, Cyprus is in a position to partially save its tourism season.

Certainly, it’s going to have a different look with tourists needing a health certificate to get in but at least the island can promote itself as a relatively safe destination.

And just in case you were hesitant about coming here, the government has pledged to pay all expenses – food, lodging, medical bills – for any visitor who contracts COVID-19.

Their families will also be looked after in the event a relative is taken ill.

Hopefully, the hotels will be more diligent in following the rules on social distancing and hygiene because the island’s reputation depends on it.

Tour operators and airlines have shown faith in Cyprus with Tui, Ryanair and Wizz Air all preparing to arrange holidays, flights from July.

Unsurprisingly, among those countries not allowed to enter under a new coronavirus regime will be the UK, Russia and Sweden.

Britain was doing the exact opposite – Boris tried to get everyone infected – to Cyprus when the outbreak started, Russia also failed to get a grip of the situation and Sweden adopted a rather relaxed attitude.

While we were staying home, living under curfew and sending a text to go to the supermarket, the Swedes were allowed to go down the pub and generally go about their business.

Now Sweden is not best pleased that it is one of the few EU countries not on the island’s ‘wish you were here’ list when airports open on June 9.

Maybe, Stockholm should offer Cypriots a corona-free holiday as a gesture of goodwill…

Stay safe