Praise for the Greek government

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filippos
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Praise for the Greek government

Postby filippos » Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:50 am

There's an article in today's Guardian commenting on Greece's handling of the virus that's worth reading.

peebee
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Re: Praise for the Greek government

Postby peebee » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:01 am


Kamisiana
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Re: Praise for the Greek government

Postby Kamisiana » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:16 am

And a massif slice of luck without doubt early February / March is the quietest time of year in Greece and and even more so in the islands, had the Chinese exported their virus/pandemic 6 months later and it had hit Greece in July/August when there are tens of thousands arriving in Crete alone per week it would have been "kalinikta" it took long enough to track one infected soldier and 12 Brits in Xania, and only a few years ago Greece did not have basic dressings and drugs did not pay Doctors and Nurses for months if ever, and on my one and first brief visit to Xania hospital last year :shock: I dread to think how many working ventilators there are in Xania hospital.
Praise where its due but timing played the biggest part.

Kookla
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Re: Praise for the Greek government

Postby Kookla » Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:44 am

I applaud and praise the Greek government and its people. Politically I am left of Labour and if Greek, would probably not have voted for a centre-right party. That said this government acted swiftly and decisively to implement curbs and restrictions. Yes it is hurting us all, especially those of us who fall through the cracks and get no financial help.

However, I am most impressed and proud with the way the Greeks have handled themselves during this. By nature a nation who socialise. The first ban of the Carnival on 1st March was so hard especially for the wee children who created their costume with care and budding excitement. ( How do you explain to a child the reasoning why it’s cancelled without scaring them?)

Now the biggest test of all Greek Easter. This is a huge ask for the biggest family orientated celebration. When I first lived on Crete in ‘92 and was single I was always invited to Greek friends houses to join in with their families. Such is the love given so freely on an occasion to be shared. A very different scenario this year with the lockdown.

Shopping with social distancing adhered to and capacity limits inside according to sqm of the store. Disposable plastic gloves and hand sanitiser at the door. Fully stocked shelves and no panic- buying.

Yes I applaud the Greek people for their handling of this situation and am grateful to be living here among my friends. There is nowhere else I’d rather be.

One of Warwick’s early posts first informed me of the the ‘doubling’ number of the virus and yesterday I read in the Ekathimerini the graph depicting this; bravo Greece.

Kamisiana
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Re: Praise for the Greek government

Postby Kamisiana » Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:06 am

They still got a get out of jail free card 32 million visitors last year, Greece the latest victim of overtourism https://www.traveller.com.au/greece-tou ... ism-h110v6

PS also ironic the increase of Chinese tourists :wink:
PPS commiserations on the loss of Jeremy :lol: :wink: :wink:

Jeffstclair
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Re: Praise for the Greek government

Postby Jeffstclair » Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:10 pm

Yeah ,I've not seen any figures for last year, but this year is going to be down I think ...bad times just around the corner ..

Guy M
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Re: Praise for the Greek government

Postby Guy M » Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:54 pm

The U.K. is slowly starting to notice that Greece is a star performer wrt this virus. Wait until they see this:

The London School of Economics has estimated that up to 50% of deaths across Europe will come from care homes.

According to the U.K. Government, there are 21,700 care homes in the U.K. with over 400,000 residents.

From the data I can find, Greece has 200 care homes with 15,000 residents.

Care for the elderly is one of the many things that will need rethinking when, if ever, this is over.

bobscott
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Re: Praise for the Greek government

Postby bobscott » Fri Apr 17, 2020 5:32 pm

Guy M wrote:The U.K. is slowly starting to notice that Greece is a star performer wrt this virus. Wait until they see this:

The London School of Economics has estimated that up to 50% of deaths across Europe will come from care homes.

According to the U.K. Government, there are 21,700 care homes in the U.K. with over 400,000 residents.

From the data I can find, Greece has 200 care homes with 15,000 residents.

Care for the elderly is one of the many things that will need rethinking when, if ever, this is over.

Your last bullet point. Long overdue. Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Kamisiana
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Re: Praise for the Greek government

Postby Kamisiana » Fri Apr 17, 2020 6:39 pm

Guy M wrote:The U.K. is slowly starting to notice that Greece is a star performer wrt this virus. Wait until they see this:

The London School of Economics has estimated that up to 50% of deaths across Europe will come from care homes.

According to the U.K. Government, there are 21,700 care homes in the U.K. with over 400,000 residents.

From the data I can find, Greece has 200 care homes with 15,000 residents.

Care for the elderly is one of the many things that will need rethinking when, if ever, this is over.


Another take on the lack of residents in Greek care homes (from a Cypriot site in English) old but still relevant
http://www.parikiaki.com/2013/08/nursin ... ce-crisis/

Kilkis
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Re: Praise for the Greek government

Postby Kilkis » Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:21 pm

You really do have a phenomenally anti-Greek attitude, Kamisiana. I wonder why you ever chose to live here but it is pretty obvious why you went back. Most Greek families look after their elderly because they respect them not to scrounge off them. As in the UK Greek care homes are not free. Typically the children would be paying for that care out of their own incomes. It is not surprising that when unemployment went up to 26 % that many families could no longer afford to pay the fee. While it is true that their pension would help the family budget the driving force was the inability to pay. It is also true that many Greek youths went back to live in villages with their grandparent's during the financial crisis but that was a symbiotic relationship. The grandparents had a pension income while the youths had nothing and no prospect of anything under the Troika jackboot. On the other hand the youths had health and fitness and were able to do jobs that the grandparents were no longer really up to, helping to grow crops, tend to chickens and goats, do repairs around the house etc. It worked for both.

When I was in the north of Greece I lived next door but one to a very frail old lady who had no family at all. All the women in the area, who were not related to her in any way, helped to look after her so that she was able to keep living in her home until she died. People visited her every day with food and to do jobs like cleaning. When she eventually died there was no shortage of people to sit by her body right through the night and up to her funeral the next day. Would your neighbours do that for you in the same situation?

I don't know how long you lived here but I get a strong impression that you learned nothing about Greek culture while you were here.

Warwick

daveB
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Re: Praise for the Greek government

Postby daveB » Sat Apr 18, 2020 12:22 am

I have nothing but praise for the government and for the peoples response. Is though there another factor 'protecting' Greece?
Even densely populated areas e.g. Athens seem to have survived much better than other equivalents elsewhere. I have no agenda but any thoughts? Tourism could benefit from promoting holidays in a proven healthy climate, as could those of us in the vulnerable age group :D

Kamisiana
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Re: Praise for the Greek government

Postby Kamisiana » Sat Apr 18, 2020 9:32 am

Kilkis wrote:You really do have a phenomenally anti-Greek attitude, Kamisiana. I wonder why you ever chose to live here but it is pretty obvious why you went back. Most Greek families look after their elderly because they respect them not to scrounge off them. As in the UK Greek care homes are not free. Typically the children would be paying for that care out of their own incomes. It is not surprising that when unemployment went up to 26 % that many families could no longer afford to pay the fee. While it is true that their pension would help the family budget the driving force was the inability to pay. It is also true that many Greek youths went back to live in villages with their grandparent's during the financial crisis but that was a symbiotic relationship. The grandparents had a pension income while the youths had nothing and no prospect of anything under the Troika jackboot. On the other hand the youths had health and fitness and were able to do jobs that the grandparents were no longer really up to, helping to grow crops, tend to chickens and goats, do repairs around the house etc. It worked for both.

When I was in the north of Greece I lived next door but one to a very frail old lady who had no family at all. All the women in the area, who were not related to her in any way, helped to look after her so that she was able to keep living in her home until she died. People visited her every day with food and to do jobs like cleaning. When she eventually died there was no shortage of people to sit by her body right through the night and up to her funeral the next day. Would your neighbours do that for you in the same situation?

I don't know how long you lived here but I get a strong impression that you learned nothing about Greek culture while you were here.

Warwick


If you say so Warwick it must be correct, all hail the forum messiah

Kilkis
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Re: Praise for the Greek government

Postby Kilkis » Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:01 am

Athens is the most densely populated city in Greece so it has the biggest number of cases. All the other concentrations are around major cities like Thessaloniki, Patras, Lamia, Larissa etc. Move to more remote, less densely populated areas, like the Chania prefecture, and the number of cases is extremely low. That is exactly what you would expect for a disease that is being passed from person to person.

Greece as a whole, and hence cities like Athens, is lower because of the speed of action by the Greek government and also I suspect because of the order they did things. At first glance it would appear that the UK and Greece did things around the same time but it it not the date that matters it is when you take action relative to the spread. Mike Ryan of WHO made a comment very early on in the emergence of the disease that has stuck with me. He said when you first detect the disease in your community you start running, you run as fast as you can and you don't stop running. Don't spend time trying to get everything right and worrying about making mistakes. You will make mistakes but the biggest mistake you can make is not to act fast enough.

Greece had its first case on 26 February, a tourist returning from Italy. They closed all schools, nurseries, colleges and universities on 11 March before they had even had one death. The first one was on 12 March. They then closed Theatres, cinemas, galleries, gyms and nightclubs on 12 March, closed all bars, cafés, tavernas museums and archaeological sites on 14 March, closed all tourist accommodation on 15 March, introduced compulsory 14 day self-isolation for anyone arriving in Greece from abroad, including from UK regardless of nationality on 16 March, and closed all shops except food shops and some services on 18 March. All non-resident foreign nationals were banned from entry into Greece and all non-residents (Greeks or non- Greeks) were banned from travelling to the islands on ferries from 21 March. All hotels were closed except for one in each prefecture (3 in Athens) from 22 March. They then introduced a movement lockdown for everybody on 23 March.

The UK got its first confirmed case on 31 January so almost 4 weeks earlier than in Greece. In reality the first person with the disease had entered the UK of 23 January so over a month earlier than in Greece. The UK had its first death on 4 March so eight days before Greece. It was only on 13 March that large events started to be cancelled and even then some massive ones went ahead, such as Cheltenham. On 15 March Matt Hancock announced that everyone in Britain over the age of 70 would be told to self-isolate "within the coming weeks". On 16 March the government started to "suggest" people should avoid certain places like pubs but still no action. It was only on 20 March that the government started to take positive action like closing pubs, restaurants etc. Schools were not closed until 20 March. The UK started to implement a lockdown on 23 March, the same day as Greece.

While the time frames are similar I believe there are some key differences that resulted in the different outcomes. Note that when comparing numbers the UK has approximately 6 times the population of Greece.

Firstly the time when actions were taken relative to the first cases. When Greece took the first action on 11 March they had 89 cases and no deaths. On the 14 March when the UK began to take action it had 1,140 cases and a total of 21 deaths. On the same day Greece had a total of 228 cases and 3 deaths. That is not far off the expected factor of 6 BUT Greece was already 3 days into a daily programme of introducing social distancing measures with enforcement while the UK was talking about introducing measures and was doing so in a very laissez fair manner.

It is interesting that the first action Greece took was to close schools etc while the UK did not do that for another 9 days. The UK government constantly says that scientific evidence shows that schools do not contribute significantly to the spread but they never produce that evidence. I find that hard to believe. Anybody who has ever been to school, and I would guess that is all of us, anybody who has ever had children at school, and that is probably a large proportion of us, or anybody who has ever taught in a school will tell you that schools are simply a giant Petri dish and you probably couldn't design a better vector for spreading the disease than children if you tried. As an aside I talked to friend who lives on quite a large estate in the UK. She says that near her children are playing out together in the street and on the nearby playing field just as they would during any other Easter holiday.

I suspect that the 8 day delay between Greece and the UK in closing cafés, bars restaurants etc was critical.

Greece has also been much better at restricting travel than the UK, although I think Greece could have done more sooner in this area. That's an observation not a criticism. The UK has been very lax and that is a criticism not an observation. At least as soon as the disease is declared a pandemic, preferably earlier, you need to implement strict border controls. The term pandemic means that is spreading from country to country on a worldwide scale. Exactly what controls you use can vary depending on your situation but they have to be effective. Greece's restrictions are quite effective but could be a bit better. The UK's restrictions are virtually non-existent.

I got the first alert on my mobile telling me to stay at home on 11 March. On 15 March Matt Hancock was talking about over 70s being told to stay at home "within the coming weeks". Not exactly running, more of a gentle stroll?

Warwick

PS Another aside regarding deaths in care homes. I think it is almost axiomatic that virtually everybody in a care home is in the highest risk group. Why aren't they being admitted to hospital at the slightest hint of a respiratory illness? Why are they being left in the care home to die? It is true that many would die anyway once they caught the disease but we know that at least one 99 year old and one 104 year old have survived the disease with hospital care so why are these others not receiving it?

chrissyg
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Re: Praise for the Greek government

Postby chrissyg » Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:36 am

Agree with that, and the cabinet were apparently urging Boris to act quicker especially over events like Cheltenham races and Crufts. And announcing a kind of lockdown within a few days made everyone get together and go pubbing and cram into supermarkets and stockpiling etc before official lockdown happened so we must have spread the disease even more.
Re care homes i too cant make out why they let loads of these vulnerable peopld die and dont call ambulaces as soon as anyone shows respiratory symptomms. They are going on about PPE for staff but they should really be getting them into hospitals. I think it may be red tape where they have to call a doctor in first to assess or something and by then its too late. Before all this happened the media were bangingbon about abuse in care homes were commonplace, now they are all angels.

Kamisiana
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Re: Praise for the Greek government

Postby Kamisiana » Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:53 am

Kilkis wrote:Athens is the most densely populated city in Greece so it has the biggest number of cases. All the other concentrations are around major cities like Thessaloniki, Patras, Lamia, Larissa etc. Move to more remote, less densely populated areas, like the Chania prefecture, and the number of cases is extremely low. That is exactly what you would expect for a disease that is being passed from person to person.

Greece as a whole, and hence cities like Athens, is lower because of the speed of action by the Greek government and also I suspect because of the order they did things. At first glance it would appear that the UK and Greece did things around the same time but it it not the date that matters it is when you take action relative to the spread. Mike Ryan of WHO made a comment very early on in the emergence of the disease that has stuck with me. He said when you first detect the disease in your community you start running, you run as fast as you can and you don't stop running. Don't spend time trying to get everything right and worrying about making mistakes. You will make mistakes but the biggest mistake you can make is not to act fast enough.

Greece had its first case on 26 February, a tourist returning from Italy. They closed all schools, nurseries, colleges and universities on 11 March before they had even had one death. The first one was on 12 March. They then closed Theatres, cinemas, galleries, gyms and nightclubs on 12 March, closed all bars, cafés, tavernas museums and archaeological sites on 14 March, closed all tourist accommodation on 15 March, introduced compulsory 14 day self-isolation for anyone arriving in Greece from abroad, including from UK regardless of nationality on 16 March, and closed all shops except food shops and some services on 18 March. All non-resident foreign nationals were banned from entry into Greece and all non-residents (Greeks or non- Greeks) were banned from travelling to the islands on ferries from 21 March. All hotels were closed except for one in each prefecture (3 in Athens) from 22 March. They then introduced a movement lockdown for everybody on 23 March.

The UK got its first confirmed case on 31 January so almost 4 weeks earlier than in Greece. In reality the first person with the disease had entered the UK of 23 January so over a month earlier than in Greece. The UK had its first death on 4 March so eight days before Greece. It was only on 13 March that large events started to be cancelled and even then some massive ones went ahead, such as Cheltenham. On 15 March Matt Hancock announced that everyone in Britain over the age of 70 would be told to self-isolate "within the coming weeks". On 16 March the government started to "suggest" people should avoid certain places like pubs but still no action. It was only on 20 March that the government started to take positive action like closing pubs, restaurants etc. Schools were not closed until 20 March. The UK started to implement a lockdown on 23 March, the same day as Greece.

While the time frames are similar I believe there are some key differences that resulted in the different outcomes. Note that when comparing numbers the UK has approximately 6 times the population of Greece.

Firstly the time when actions were taken relative to the first cases. When Greece took the first action on 11 March they had 89 cases and no deaths. On the 14 March when the UK began to take action it had 1,140 cases and a total of 21 deaths. On the same day Greece had a total of 228 cases and 3 deaths. That is not far off the expected factor of 6 BUT Greece was already 3 days into a daily programme of introducing social distancing measures with enforcement while the UK was talking about introducing measures and was doing so in a very laissez fair manner.

It is interesting that the first action Greece took was to close schools etc while the UK did not do that for another 9 days. The UK government constantly says that scientific evidence shows that schools do not contribute significantly to the spread but they never produce that evidence. I find that hard to believe. Anybody who has ever been to school, and I would guess that is all of us, anybody who has ever had children at school, and that is probably a large proportion of us, or anybody who has ever taught in a school will tell you that schools are simply a giant Petri dish and you probably couldn't design a better vector for spreading the disease than children if you tried. As an aside I talked to friend who lives on quite a large estate in the UK. She says that near her children are playing out together in the street and on the nearby playing field just as they would during any other Easter holiday.

I suspect that the 8 day delay between Greece and the UK in closing cafés, bars restaurants etc was critical.

Greece has also been much better at restricting travel than the UK, although I think Greece could have done more sooner in this area. That's an observation not a criticism. The UK has been very lax and that is a criticism not an observation. At least as soon as the disease is declared a pandemic, preferably earlier, you need to implement strict border controls. The term pandemic means that is spreading from country to country on a worldwide scale. Exactly what controls you use can vary depending on your situation but they have to be effective. Greece's restrictions are quite effective but could be a bit better. The UK's restrictions are virtually non-existent.

I got the first alert on my mobile telling me to stay at home on 11 March. On 15 March Matt Hancock was talking about over 70s being told to stay at home "within the coming weeks". Not exactly running, more of a gentle stroll?

Warwick

PS Another aside regarding deaths in care homes. I think it is almost axiomatic that virtually everybody in a care home is in the highest risk group. Why aren't they being admitted to hospital at the slightest hint of a respiratory illness? Why are they being left in the care home to die? It is true that many would die anyway once they caught the disease but we know that at least one 99 year old and one 104 year old have survived the disease with hospital care so why are these others not receiving it?


Thus endeth the lesson


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