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Puffing on a COVID nightmare

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The Covid-19 situation is clearly out of control with complacency and general stupidity jeopardising public safety.

Fears of imposing a second lockdown are very real, which this time could be harsher on the economy as the government is fast running out of money, its revenues have dropped and cannot support further furlough schemes or subsidies.

Tourism has been hit hard and the services sector could be equally damaged by the abolition of the ‘golden passports’ scheme, a get-rich-quick programme that should have been improved way back, but kept on life support to serve the established order.

The lack of political decisiveness has brought us to the brink of disaster.

Once again, we find ourselves in front of the great unknown, as we did in March.

Only this time, we should have learnt from our mistakes, shortcomings even.

True, contingency plans have been put in place, supplies have been ordered and the national health system may be better prepared for a second mega-wave.

But if we don’t know how big that wave will be, we can’t know if state hospitals can carry that huge burden.

When the first coronavirus infections spread like wildfire, Paphos General was shut down. We were fortunate, one could say, that it was a relatively small hospital.

Instead of everybody jumping on the blame-bandwagon after the ‘gotcha’ video that sparked a mini-tsunami in parliament while our own President uttered some of his unique immature gems, this time cursing TV reporters, some more maturity is needed.

Mature decisions may also be painful, but necessary.

Seeing the coronavirus epidemic going into a tailspin crash-and-burn, half of Europe is imposing harsher measures, curfews even.

Instead, Cyprus introduced ‘harsher’ mask controls while infection-friendly venues such as weddings, parties continue.

Insanely, football training and games were allowed with clubs breaking the law on public safety by ignoring health protocols.

And yet, no club official has been prosecuted.

At least, someone took notice that shisha-pipes may have been the cause of the rapid explosion of SARS-CoV-2 cases these past few weeks and banned their use.

COVID transmission was spread by students at the state nursing school, where the lesson on “public health and safety 101” is clearly not in the curriculum.

It is high time that scientific minds prevail over political logic, that the daily briefings and warnings resume and even the President of the Republic takes the matter to heart with more frequent guidance.

Otherwise, the doubting Thomas’s will continue to cast a shadow over everything we do, and if they are stupid enough to ignore the writing on the wall, at least we should better protect ourselves.

If our political leadership does not take matters more seriously, we will not be able to convince tourists that Cyprus will be a safer place come next summer season.

And then, the economy will simply implode.