Measures and Punishment in the Era of the Coronavirus

Αssociated Press

Φωτογραφίες των θυμάτων του κορωνοϊού έξω από το νεκροταφείο Green-Wood στην Νέα Υόρκη. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

It is a tragic milestone. The death toll from the Coronavirus in the United States has reached the incredibly high number of 200,000. This is a number that a few months ago was beyond imagination and which, unfortunately, became a reality this week.

I note that this is the highest Coronavirus death toll of any country in the world.

And this landmark of 200,000 dead happened in a country that is famous – and rightly so – as an empire of science and knowledge that one would  have expected to have confronted this pandemic better than the rest of the world.

And, of course, the death toll is expected to rise further - until some drugs or vaccines against the virus are developed.

There are glimmers of hope, however: states such as New York, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire learned their lesson on time resulting in their respective number of cases being less than 1% of their population. A percentage close to that for the common flu which we all live with – with the help of annual vaccines.

What made the difference in these states? It is the impressive discipline of the vast majority of people in implementing the basic measures required to deal with the virus: wearing masks and social distancing.

In contrast, in other states where many are revolting against the implementation of these measures, acting on political or other criteria, the results are tragic.

Greece, as it is well known, faced the first wave of the virus in a timely and dynamic manner, as a result of which it received international applause.

Recently, however, there is a serious increase in cases with their total number approaching 16,000.

There is, as the Associate Press reports, an increase in cases which is largely due to the trend of people opposing the use of the mask. In fact, since schools opened, the reaction against the requirement that students wear masks has been growing.

Thus, the judicial authorities of the country were instructed to very quickly process the proceedings of those who are brought in for violations of the measures for the treatment of the Coronavirus, and in extreme cases for them to be punished with up to one year in prison.

It is a tough decision, but it is necessary to protect both ourselves and others.