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Society

COVID-19 Fight Wearing Greeks Down Mentally – But Not Out

ATHENS – Worried about staying alive and making it economically – while locked down at home to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus – has Greeks on edge, saying their mental health is being worn down.

Some 40 percent said the pandemic is too much for them to take, the strain even breaking medical professionals and health care workers, such as a nurse in Italy and emergency room doctor in New York City who killed themselves over the stress.

That was the findings of a study carried out by Sentio Solutions, a Greek healthtech startup based in San Francisco which also said that 45 percent of respondents said their biggest fear was a long recession that would bring back the nightmare years of a near decade-long economic and austerity crisis.

Another 39 percent said they were unnerved by the worry that a family member could contract the virus although Greece has one of the best record in the world in dealing with the disease, an early near-total lockdown being cited as the reason.

They've been stuck at home for 44 days before the lockdown began to be gradually eased on May 4 – they had been allowed out only for permissible reasons such as going to supermarkets, banks, hospitals, pharmacies, doctors and businesses allowed open.

The isolation found 60 percent unhappy they couldn't see friends or family, with even grandparents who are a critical part of the Greek family make-up unable to hold or get close to grandchildren.

Showing their renowned Greek resolve – Greeks endured centuries of occupations including the brutality of the Nazis – 95 percent said they believed the crisis would bring some positive responses, 30 percent citing cleaner air with industry, mass transportation and vehicular traffic brought to a near-standstill during the lockdown.

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