Even belatedly, the government responded to the many calls of doctors and scientists and imposed tougher public health restrictions on our unvaccinated fellow citizens, especially those over age 60, who are at the greatest risk of falling gravely ill and of being placed in ICUs with painful intubation.
As of today, the masses of unvaccinated citizens will not be permitted entry in restaurants and in arts, cultural, recreational, and athletics venues, even if they show a negative COVID-19 test.
In one month, the same restrictions will apply to those 60-years-old or over who will not have gotten their booster shot.
The obvious objective is to get unvaccinated citizens, especially the more elderly and thus more vulnerable, to rush to vaccination centres, as six months after complete vaccination a booster shot is needed to bolster their immunological defence against the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
Epidemiological conditions made these measures necessary. When one has 6-7 thousand daily infections, when hundreds of patients are filling hospitals nationwide, and when dozens are dying daily, one has no other choice.
The public health restrictions were delayed, and insufferably burdened public health conditions.
It has been proven that the invisible and extremely aggressive infection, which some inanely persist in viewing as a mere flu, constitutes a direct threat to public health and is capable of disorganising everything in the country.
Undoubtedly, it is mandatory to check the pandemic. The Delta variant is predominant and the spread of the pandemic without public health measures and monitoring and without reducing the number of unvaccinated people should be considered a given over the 2-3 months, with untold repercussions on the Christmas market and economic life more generally.
In the medical and scientific community, for many days there has been no doubt that the pressure of the fourth wave of the epidemic will have painful consequences.
There were many indications and the constant pressure on hospitals left no room for misinterpretation. The National Health System suffered a major shock and could not have endured further delays or cynical approaches, which would abandon the unvaccinated to their own devices.
Thousands of unvaccinated are dragging our immunosuppresses fellow citizens to their death, and the public health environment is absolutely problematical.
The truth be told, there are not many choices, nor solutions without a cost. Either there will be an impressive increase in the rate of vaccination, with the pandemic wave gradually being exhausted in the next 3-4 months, or society will surrender, defenceless in the face of the pandemic, with thousands more lives lost.
Obviously, the second choice cannot be accepted by a contemporary state. On the contrary, without considering political cost, it is mandatory to take all recommended measures in order to check the pandemic and for life to move forward.
Greece has a long road ahead of it after the pandemic. Our economy, after a disastrous, decade-long economic crisis, is ready for a unique leap forward, and our society also has an opportunity to be reborn and restructured. Nothing and nobody should derail the country from this path.