Alexis Papachelas ALEXIS PAPACHELAS

We must all sit at the same table to keep the country on its feet

COMMENT

TAGS: Coronavirus, Politics

Last Monday morning I found out that I had been infected with Covid-19, just like so many other people.  I felt this collective uncertainty that has prevailed to my core. So far it’s been an unpleasant experience, something like a bad flu. But one must be careful. I keep hearing about people who didn’t take it seriously and found themselves in a very difficult situation. 

I spend my time doing puzzles, reading books and doing work for the newspaper. I feel sorry that I cannot be with my parents at such a time and I know how anxious such news make them. I am thinking a lot about their generation and how we need to protect them. I know they are stubborn and want to go out, do their own thing. They think they are invincible because they really have gone through a lot, but they are not – not this time.

We are discovering habits we had forgotten, friendships that matter more than anything else in all this panic. We remember how important it is to give and how our lives can be turned upside down in just a minute. It’s not war, but it definitely reminds us of war.

At times like these, we draw courage from exemplary people we have presented in our newspaper over the years – self-made men, such as Health Ministry spokesman and professor of infectious diseases Sotiris Tsiodras, who fill us with confidence. He’s a man of few but important words. Also from people in the public sector, such as doctors, nurses, those in uniform, and civil protection executives who do their job with selflessness, little money and in adverse conditions. We have always said that it is insane for senior officials of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (GEETHA) to be paid 2,500 euros and key state functionaries even less.

I also see that the virus of divisive hysteria persists in our country. It will not work here, no matter how much some people try. The fact that the main opposition is backing the government in its fight to contain the new coronavirus fills us with optimism. Tough times lie ahead, after the two consecutive crises – migration and the new coronavirus. Let’s leave the crazies and the hardliners of each side to shout and insult each other, to sling mud. They will never change and belong to a past from which they cannot escape. We will continue to say what we believe.

When Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis does his job well in managing the tension in the Evros border region or – so far – with the new coronavirus, we will write about it. When main opposition leader Alexis Tsipras rises to the occasion, we will do the same. We care about the future of this country and the fact that, at the end of the day, we will all have to sit around the same table to keep it on its feet. Here’s wishing strength to all.

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