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Society

If COVID-19 Returns Hard, Greeks Won’t Abide New Lockdown

ATHENS – Already showing disdain for health protocols implemented to keep the COVID-19 Coronavirus from spreading after a lockdown was lifted, Greeks are in no mood to obey any more stay at home orders if it comes back .

While they were applauded for abiding by a first lockdown that was imposed on Marcy 23 before a single fatality, the move by the New Democracy government credited with holding down the number of cases and fatalities, a survey found they wouldn't again.

If COVID-19 comes back in the autumn, which chances there won't be a vaccine by then, only 21 percent favor the so-called “horizontal restrictions” of a second lockdown, being shut-ins having them lose their will to do it again.

Some 65 percent favor restrictions only in places where a spike in cases is recorded while 10 percent say that the state “must only give recommendations” to citizens and not confine them again.

While they are still worried about the virus and its impact on health and the floundering economy that saw non-essential businesses shut down as long as 10 weeks, they are also skeptical about the causes and effect of the pandemic.

That was according to a poll taken by the firm Pulse for the newspaper Kathimerini and came amid widespread defiance of the post-lockdown requirements to keep social distancing and wear masks and gloves, which most are not. 

Some 84 percent said the virus is “definitely” or “perhaps” a serious risk to public health, the other 16 not explaining why it's not if it's killed 183 people and there were 3,112 cases as of June 14.

The risk factor is higher in the elderly who fell quickly to the virus that targeted the old and those with underlying health conditions and 76 percent said the health measures, which damaged the economy, were “definitely” or “maybe” necessary. 

It was 90 percent for New Democracy voters but only 62 percent for those backing the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA which is blaming the government for the inevitable recession that has followed the lockdown.

It's not over yet even though the virus is winding down and the lockdown began being gradually lifted week-by-week starting May 4 allowing more businesses to open, the international airports for Athens and Thessaloniki opening June 15 for visitors from 29 countries with similarly relative successful rates as Greece dealing with COVID-sThirty-Some 32 percent are more worried about their financial situation and 23 percent about their health, while 42 percent said that both issues have them “equally concerned,” the dilemma the government faces in wanting to keep people safe but getting the economy going again so people don't suffer without work or money.

The survey shows that people with lower education and income levels are more likely to question official theories about the origin of the virus that has seen conspiracy theorists go so far as to claim it's a hoax and anti-masker groups popping up.

And 33 percent believe that the virus is being used to “intimidate” the public the same amount saying it's a government scheme to enforce compulsory vaccination and 35 percent said the pandemic is being used to mine their personal data.

But only 10 percent believe in the so-called 5G Coronavirus Conspiracy that thinks it's tied to mobile phone technology, the low rate perhaps because 5G isn't available in Greece yet as elsewhere.

The virus began in Wuhan, China but doubters have a wide range of other explanations and theories, some right off the wall, with only 37 percent believing most scientists and the World Health Organization (WHO) that the virus was a random natural phenomenon and not man-made to target certain groups.

More than half (52 percent) said COVID-19 was a kind of viral warfare created by humans without saying who was behind it or why and of those, 30 percent claim that the virus was created by humans for reasons such an experiment on population control to kill as many people as possible while 22 percent said was created by mistake, such as a lab accident and 11 percent said they have no clue from where it came.

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