Coronavirus in Greece. During the past week, Elias and I received a number of emails: how are you? Howt is it to be in Greece now?
The post below should not be regarded as any form of public document. It is only our own personal story from the place we stay at: Stoupa, Mani, Peloponnese. For those of you who want to follow all public events, we recommend the following sources:
How the Covid-19 intruded in our lives
On Saturday, March 14, we were on our way from Kalamata to Stoupa (where we rent a house) and planned an evening at a local tavern. We have our favorites and quickly agreed on: park the car, feed the cat and walk to Melissa.
We (and a lot of others) had heard of the new regulations from the Greek Goverment that all cafés, taverns, bars and shoping malls should be closed from Monday. But this was Saturday and we discussed some other plans for the rest of the weekend when we enjoyed our dinner.
When it was time to pay and leave the owner and a waiter came and informed us that all cafés, bars, taverns and shopping malls will be closed from tomorrow morning.
And thats how the Covid-19 intruded in our lives.
Covid-19 and our company
Next morning we went down to the beach to enjoy the sun. It was Sunday and it felt rather cold despite the sun and +24 degrees. This day the Greek Goverment decided to close the hotels and rental homes.
I worked for several hours to cancel rentals of houses and apartments. On Monday, March 16, meetings with prospective buyers were canceled: foreign visitors would be quarantined for 14 days. “Stay where you are, I will contact you when the situation changes!”
The last assignment I did was to find a 3 month accommodation for a couple from England. The couple sold their house in New Zealand in early 2020. They went back home with the car and van and got stucked in Greece.
On Monday, March 23 a nationwide lockdown began. All citizens where ordered to stay at home. Exceptions are allowed for those who needs to go to work and short trips to supermarkets, doctors, relatives in need, exercise (single or in pairs) or to walk their pet. And when you need to go out you must fill out and sign certain form that will explain the reason for you to be outside your home. And you must always have your ID/passport.
#μένουμεσπίτι: what is it like to live in Greece now?
At the time of writing, we are in on the seventhth day of the lockdown. Elias gets all “outside business” like shopping, fetching water and similar. We usually order food (yes, from the same Melissa: they are best) on Fridays and make our own food during the other days.
The village, Stoupa, has not yet noticed any infected persons (fingers crossed) and we do not see many people with face mask. You need to wear solid plastic gloves when you go in the shops and you need to queue outside (with 2 meters distance from each other) as well as wash your hands with hand rub when you walk in and when you leave the store.
- We picked up vegetables from friends who grow their own food: “hello, hello”, no hugs, no hours of ouzo at sunset
- We met a friend who usually walks the dog to the beach every day: “hello, hello”, no hug, no “just stay and look at the sea with me and Bella”
- We take the passport and printed certificate (reason B6 for exercise) and walk past the tavern to the beach: “hey, shout the owner, soon it’s over then we have a party all night”. No hands, no hands….
It is a time of sorrow… We miss hugs/meetings and are impressed by the Greeks’ responsibility and discipline! People are still smiling at each other. And have hope for the future. No one complain when they are waiting in front of the shops. No one (with some exceptions and not from “our” area) is trying to cheat with having their own business open. #μένουμεσπίτι.
And, yes, the sun is shining and the sea is blue… Come back when everything is over: we and our friends will wait for you!
And until that: I will keep posting one picture per day on our Instagram account: enjoy our gallery! Some clients emailed us this week: now, more than ever, we will buy our own Ithaca in Greece. “There’s nothing that cannot be found through the right search”…