Editorial: The battle can be won
Even if the pandemic remains active it will not be able to change the course of events or decisively limit the activities of citizens, nor can it dynamically change economic developments.
Anthropologists maintained from the start that the will to live will proves strong and capable of surpassing the threat of the public health crisis.
Indeed, after the initial shock and with the help of science, which managed swiftly to develop a number of vaccines, multiple restrictive public health measures were lifted and economic and social life are gradually returning to normal. If the vaccine rollout becomes more rapid, the situation will improve more quickly.
Already, the movement of people has substantially increased and despite the emergence of the more transmissible Delta variant, people are travelling, planning vacations, and participating more actively in a host of hitherto banned activities, including artistic and athletic events.
More rational citizens realised that the vaccines are effective, defeated fears, and greatly limited the prospect of grave illness from COVID-19. All around the world, vaccinated people feel more secure and free to move and act.
This has also been confirmed in our country. Economic activity has restarted dynamically and even the vulnerable tourism sector is rapidly reviving.
The latest data indicate that private consumption in the first quarter has increased by 8.5 percent, a nine percent rise over last year.
In the construction sector there was an impressive 40 percent rise and there is a 250 percent rise over the last year in traffic at our airports. That is reflected in tourism on the Greek islands.
Right now, the Cypriot resort of Paphos has about 300,000 visitors while Rhodes has over 800,000!
Even Athens seems to be recovering as regards tourism as one witnesses the long queues in front of the Acropolis Museum and archaeological sites.
The common conviction is that this year the Greek economy will recover dynamically and may pleasantly surprise us if the tourist season is extended and if the latest projections that this year’s turnover will be about 75 percent of that in 2019 are verified.
In that case, Greece will reveal its economic prospects and of course will create a strong base for exploiting the extremely positive repercussions of future funding from the EU Pandemic Recovery Fund.
Nobody maintains that the pandemic has been defeated, nor that public health uncertainties have been transcended. The Delta variant remains a threat that affects mainly the young and our unvaccinated fellow citizens.
However, analysts say that even if the pandemic remains active it will not be able to change the course of events or to decisively limit the activities of citizens, nor can it dynamically change economic developments.
This confirms that there is no more rational solution than the en masse vaccination of citizens.
The government has a duty to act in order to persuade three million of our unvaccinated fellow citizens to rush to visit vaccination centres.
Everyone will gain from expediting the vaccine rollout.
They must consider that this way public health will be safeguarded to a maximum degree, that there will be a smaller burden on hospitals, and that Greece’s economic prospects will improve further.
Moreover, child care centres, schools, and universities will re-open with minimal restrictions.
Our lives will be easier in autumn and winter.
It is up to all of us to protect ourselves from public health dangers. Let us do so without hesitation or reservations.