OPINION

Seeing our country in a different light

seeing-our-country-in-a-different-light

The quarantine and fear taught us to appreciate the people who keep society on its feet. They also helped us realize what is important in our daily lives.

The further loosening of restrictions, with the gradual lifting of the travel ban within Greece, will allow us to see our country in a different light.

Whether returning to an ancestral village after months away, or going to the nearest beach, our destination and the journey will take on special value after the uncertainty as to when we would be free to move about again. We will see things differently – the details that we forgot, things we had not noticed, things we never got around to doing.

We will see great beauty. We will see also the ugliness to which we had become accustomed –- the landfills, the abandoned factories, the illegal construction, the concrete anarchy of “development.”

Maybe the deprivation of the past months has woken us, has made us reject the spoiling of our country’s riches. Maybe it has made us believe that if we do not do now whatever is necessary to maintain what is good, to fix mistakes and pursue something better, it may never happen.

If in the last few months we were able to be so responsible and so disciplined as to contribute toward slowing the pandemic, then surely we can also overcome our tolerance for the permanent plagues of disregard for the law, sloppiness and impunity.

If we acquire a new sensitivity it should not be taken as an emotional reaction to today’s problems but as a necessary quality for the days to come.

The pandemic has caused such disruption across the world that for any country to get an advantage, to benefit its people, it will have to bring together its strengths and its allies, to invest in its beauty and its virtues.

Greece may be particularly vulnerable to the pandemic’s economic cost because of its great dependence on tourism. However, the country’s competent handling of Covid-19 and its cooperation with European Union partners and other countries have contributed to a climate of trust and credibility which will prove to have significant advantages in the new era – as long as all of us contribute toward shaping a society that is based on developing quality and building consensus, a society on the basis of a culture that we were in danger of losing.