Coronavirus in Athens, Greece
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Mar 19, 2020 Update
We Asked: What is currently happening with regard to the Coronavirus outbreak in your area? Please provide as much detail as possible. She replied...
All schools, restaurants, bars, many shops, hair salons, museums, ancient sites that require admmission, etc. are closed.
As of 17 March we have been asked to stay in our homes except for necessary items: groceries, pharmacy, etc.
Public transportation and taxis are still in service.
There are about 420 cases of the virus with 5 deaths throughout Greece at this point.
People are not hoarding, are very kind and seem to be following the guidelines. We are allowed to take walks outside, which helps.
How People are Coping
We Asked: How are people handling the situation in your area? She replied...
We haven't seen evidence of hoarding, and people are being very kind to one another. We do leave at least 6 feet between one another, if not more.
Changing Conditions as coronavirus Spreads
We Asked: How has the situation changed as the Coronavirus has spread? She replied...
When we arrived in Athens on 7 March, everything was open... all restaurants, museums, etc. Schools closed three days after we arrived, museums closed a few days later and then restaurants and bars a couple days after that. Lockdown happened on 17 March.
We Asked: Describe how the government of the country about which you are reporting is handling this situation. She replied...
They seem to be handling it quite well at the moment. Everything is quite low key, which is a relief.
Government Response with Regard to Expats
We Asked: Describe how your home country's government has handled the outbreak situation with regards to its expatriate citizens. She replied...
The only change we saw is the closing of the borders to people outside of the EU. This happened on 17 March, I believe.
No one has asked us to leave at this point.
Supplies and Shortages
We Asked: Is there a shortage of supplies in your location? She replied...
None that we can see.
Preparing for the Future
We Asked: What are you doing in terms of preparations in case the situation deteriorates in your location? She replied...
We have about a week's worth of food in the apartment and we are keeping an eye on any changes that may require us to move. So far, we are good.
Lockdown & Passing the Time
We Asked: Are you staying home? If so, how are you passing the time?
Yes, we stay home most days. We did go for a walk today in a wooded park, which was really lovely. Everyone in the park maintained at least six feet and in many cases ten or more feet away from everyone else.
At home, we are doing yoga, reading, chatting online with friends and watching Netflix or Acorn TV.
Public Healthcare & Public Hospitals
We Asked: Are you enrolled in the public healthcare system where you live? Do you feel that the public hospitals are handling or preparing for the Coronavirus outbreak effectively? She replied...
No, we are not enrolled in the public healthcare system. We have no experience with the public hospitals at this point and hope that continues to be the case. We do have private insurance that would cover our healthcare needs here, if needed.
Private Health Insurance & Private Hospitals
We Asked: Do you have private health insurance? If you have private insurance, does this give you access to private hospitals? Are private hospitals or clinics better prepared, less prepared, or the same? Please explain. She replied...
We do have private insurance that would cover our healthcare needs here, if needed. Yes, our insurance should give access to private hospitals, again if needed. We have no experience with the private hospitals and clinics at this point.
Hospital of Choice for Coronavirus Treatment
We Asked: Would you choose a public or private hospital if you needed treatment for Coronavirus? Why? If there is a specific hospital that you would go to in the event of severe illness? Which hospital and why? She replied...
We Asked: Are you considering returning to your home country due to the Coronavirus? Would this be a temporary move or a permanent repatriation? Please explain. She replied...
No, we are not planning to return to our home country until the summer (June) when we already scheduled time to see family and friends. Those tickets were purchased months ago.
We will be returning to Europe on September 4th, if the virus threat has lessened.
Advice for People Outside of Athens, Greece
We Asked: If you live in an area already heavily affected by coronavirus, what advice would you share with others elswhere in the world who may be facing the same challenges in the future. She replied...
Listen to the authorities and follow their directions. You may be feeling just fine, but you could still be a carrier for the virus and you don't want to pass it on.
WASH your hands, WASH your hands, WASH your hands!
Use common sense and try to avoid crowds at all times.
Otherwise, relax. This too shall pass and worrying will do nothing to save you.
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