Throughout Europe including Greece the COVID-19 pandemic is placing an excessive burden on public health conditions and is necessitating new lockdowns everywhere.

Undoubtedly the threat of the COVID-19 epidemic is extremely serious and has reached explosive dimensions.

It is harming the entire world and hammering even the most advanced countries as it makes no exceptions.

It invades aggressively in places where mobility is high and attention wanes.

In so doing it batters even the strongest health systems leaving the population exposed and impacting decisively on all forms of economic and social life.

That is what is occurring now in all of Europe including Greece as the pandemic is placing an excessive burden on public health conditions and is necessitating new lockdowns everywhere.

The skyrocketing number of new cases, intubated patients, and deaths allows no one to be indifferent.

Even those who denied the existence of the pandemic and conspiracy theorists who believed that the threat was manufactured can now understand the intensity and weight of the phenomenon.

The truth is that since the beginning of summer when the first lockdown ended there were signs – and continuous warnings from experts – that autumn would bring a second and more powerful wave of the pandemic that would be strong enough to challenge the capability of the National Health System [photo Evangelismos Hospital] to withstand the pressure that would be placed on it.

It is also true that during the summer and early autumn complacency and laxity were the order of the day.

Meanwhile, there was great pressure on the government from all sides to open the economy and lift restrictions so as to limit to the extent possible the impact of the first restrictive measures.

The fact that the number of new cases appeared to be under control created the false impression that the virus was retreating and that its transmission had been checked.

That led to reduced caution and greater mobility at all levels of economic and social life.

Everyone is responsible for the actions and movements that led to the current impasse.

This is not the time to attribute responsibilities or to unleash criticism of omissions in the health sector as it is by now clear that no health system, however strong, can withstand a multiplication of cases.

If infections increase to 10,000 a day as experts project and hospitals are packed with COVID-19 patients they will collapse with disastrous effects for all of us.

In the current phase of the pandemic outburst the paramount aim is to check the spread of the virus and to limit its transmission so as to decisively limit hospital admissions and protect basic healthcare facilities.

That means that we must be disciplined and faithfully abide by public health restrictions.

We must once again stay at home, comply with social distancing and personal hygiene measures (such as frequent hand washing), and avoid any exposure to the rapidly spreading virus.

At least this time hopes for an effective vaccine and medicines are realistic and well-founded. Final announcements are expected by year’s end and most experts believe that at the beginning of 2021 we shall have the tools to contain the pandemic.

Everyone is well aware of the personal and social cost of the new lockdown and of the fatigue of citizens who must once again hunker down in their homes.

Given the fact that there are magic solutions or options let us wish, as the poet says, that if we survive this winter we shall get through the next ten years.

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