Economic inequalities

Lockdown vol 2: Who will protect us from our “protectors”?

Greece.

For me, this second lockdown, on psychological terms, is much more difficult than the first one. I go through waves of intense negative feelings. New and long forgotten emotions were triggered; primal fear, the feeling of emptiness and lack of purpose, vulnerability, anxiety for day to day life, sadness, anger.

The first time I was patient and had the will to go along with the instructions and restrictions, and this mainly because of the hundreds of victims in China, Italy and other European countries. Furthermore I was driven by my curiosity and the interest I had, at least initially, in this unprecedented situation. 
Now, in this quarantine, apart from the fatigue and dullness of emotions due to the ill management of the crisis by the government, the former awe does not exist despite the shocking numbers of human losses and threefold increase of mortality rates in our country.

There is nothing short of grief for the so many deaths, but also for the maudlin and indifference with which this grave situation is faced by many citizens in Greece.

Despite the fact that I was not surprised when the second lockdown was put in effect in early November, I feel less understanding towards those who imposed it upon us as the last resort against the spreading of the virus, because while they had 8 months to prepare, to upgrade the hospital infrastructure, to appoint new doctors- nursing staff, to build new ICUs (the existing 600 are not enough), to improve the conditions in the schools, so that there is no need to  have 25 students stacked in a class, and several other actions deemed as being necessary by the larger part of the scientific community,  they were unable or unwilling to do anything about it.

On the contrary, they wasted time and money on issues that had nothing to do with the protection of human life, such as excessive military equipment, recruitment of police officers, while their number is sufficient -based on what other political parties say in Greece. They did not increase and replace obsolete public transport. As a result, the people who necessarily use them are crowded and get easily sick. They did not do enough detection tests, while the needs are for a lot more. They closed the restaurants and the shops but did leave the factories open so the spread of the virus inside them continues and does not decrease. They do not increase spending on the public health system but instead reduce it.

The media are completely controlled by state funds given to the tycoons of the press –says the European Commissioner for Transparency, who denounces specific countries, including Greece. So, many people are informed unilaterally and incompletely about the critical situation of the country.

Τhe consequence of all the above is that there is a huge increase in deaths from covid 19 in Greece in november, we have reached the top daily death rates per million people in Europe.

Obviously  they are either criminally incompetent or arbitrarily they thought that the virus will come to us causing only minor – compared to other countries – losses, as it did in the first phase of the epidemic on March-April. 

After all, these actions lead me to conclude once again, how inhuman, disorganized and opportunistic is the neoliberal way of thinking and what are its priorities, especially when having to choose between the majority of the people’s well-being or the profits of multi-billion corporations.

Unfortunately, we live in a “monstrous era” where fear and brute force have become the weapons of the dominant applied ideology, against the people.

When, seemingly, in order to “protect” us, they shift their responsibilities on us, accuse us of being irresponsible and, finally, they limit our freedom*.

I have reached a critical point, solely due to the irresponsibility of the authorities, to wonder, to fear for my life and to worry about whether we will die from the Coronavirus or from dire impoverishment, because of the very long period of the lockdown and its financial consequences.

When we do not dare to protest or express vigorously and unrestricted our opinion, because we may end up in a police department with forged and tailor made charges suitable to them…
When our mental health is at risk by the long and recurring indoor confinements or because we are forced to work in crowded places, under the threat of otherwise losing our low paid jobs.
We live and breathe in an age which has taken a horrifying downhill slope and I do not know where it will stop…
In a new Middle age?  In new totalitarian regimes?

When our rights as citizens are constantly and methodically reduced because they supposedly protect us from ourselves. At the end of the day, who will protect us from our so-called, and ly self-appointed, “protectors”? 

* I n Greece, all forms of protest, claim and marches for commemoration anniversaries, (such as the Polytechnic annual anniversary, that contributed to the fall of the military junta), are banned because of the epidemic, violating the Constitution with extraordinary unconstitutional decisions, which have not been voted on by parliament.
People who protest, even defense attorneys, are constantly arrested (while keeping the personal protective measures). 
We have a lot of policing and intimidation from the government, while at the same time anti-labor and anti-social laws continue to be voted in parliament.

Maria Kanata

I grew up in Amfissa in the Delphi area, in an atmosphere full of art with a father who was a painter, so it was almost inevitable to follow in his footsteps. I studied sculpture and ceramics in Italy and worked for several years teaching art at school. Photography has entered my life in recent years and I am passionate about it. Through it I try to capture my thoughts and get inspired from my subject and the socio-political environment. The political meaning in photography in our time and the way we can contribute through the image to the presentation of reality with honesty without embellishment but with empathy, is our duty. The crisis in Greece and the situation in the whole country are issues that both concern me and affect me. My subjects are mainly about day life and the need of people. About living in an environment that is constantly being degraded.

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