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“Elderly should go to supermarket until 8:30 am,” says epidemiology professor

The elderly should go shopping at supermarkets until 08:30 a.m. to reduce the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The proposal came by professor for epidemiology at the Medical School of the University of Athens, Athins Linou on Thursday.

The elderly wake up early in the morning anyway, and the supermarkets can open at 6:30 a.m. Linou said speaking to Sto Kokkino FM.

She pointed out that the British variation of Covid-19 that has increased transmissibility is “galloping” in Greece.

According to the official bulletin by the National Health Care organization EODY on February 17, there have been so far a total of 495 coinfirmed cases of Covid-19 mutation B.1.1.7/UK lineage/Variant VOC_202012) and 7 confirmed cases of the B.1.351/South Africa (Variant 501V2) mutation.

Among the measures Lonou proposed to halt the spread of the virus, she mentioned also the use of “double mask”, a measure currently under consideration by the advising committee.

A “double mask” could be used in specific closed spaces like public transport and supermarkets, media have been reporting in the last couple of days..

Linou, who is not a member of the advising committee, has also suggested mass tests in workplaces, test in places where people crowd like bus and metro-stops.

Taxi vouchers for workers not in tele-work and two tests free of charge for unemployed.


PS much to my knowledge it is not allowed to exclude people from activities based on age or other criteria even during a pandemic. No to mention the additional stress factor for this age group during the pandemic who will probably spend sleepless nights so that they will not miss their shopping.

Furthermore, Linou has forgotten that elderly people often forget and need to go to supermarkets several times per day.

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  1. how about instead of all these stupid restrictions, we get rid of these self-important bureacrats and politicians who think they can play the whole country like a video game?

  2. I think going early would decrease any persons chance/risk of catching Covid, less people in the supermarkets and less stressful staff who actually advise customers to come up close to each other and put their shopping on the moving belt as happened to me in a well known German store,the other customers did as they were told and were nearly on top of me,none of them told the staff except me to..stop demanding customers to do that..the staff member kept on, and looking daggers at me,customers did as they were told by her,she kept on and on,being sheep headed they came closer and closer.So I say go at the crack of dawn if poss,even the old and infirm if you dont want other customers breathing in your face.

  3. Marcelis Vanmechelen

    Finally there is a professor with a decent proposal. Here in Belgium, we also have a professor that has written a book called ‘The Reverse Lockdown’. And I heard that also in The Netherlands, there is a proposal that goes into that direction. This comes down to protecting the older and more vulnerable people, and let the rest of the population be free. Shopping before 8:30 is maybe a little bit strict, but you can make it between 9:00 and 11:00 or something.
    The advantages of this are:
    – you still protect the vulnerable people, that can really suffer from the virus. And yes, they will be restricted, but are they not now?
    – the other part of the population almost never (in less than 1% of the cases) gets sick from the virus; so by letting them live their lifes, they can let the herd immunity grow (and thanks to this the elderly are again better protected after a while), and, also important, let the economy breathe as well.

    Politicians and TV experts always say that we have to protect the elderly and the vulnerable, and therefore we have to maintain the existing measures. When I then look at the numbers, and I see that of the 21,000 corona-deaths in Belgium (and I guess it is the same in most of the countries), more than 75% of the deaths is 75 years or older, and 90% is 65 years or older, I can only draw one conclusion: the measures taken have completely failed. The intention was to protect the elderly, but 90% of the deaths concerns older people.

    Kind regards, Marc

    • There are two serious errors in your comment, Marc. The people who get seriously ill in the younger age group is not negligible and is increasing. For example, if you look at UK data for the period September to January approximately one third of all hospital admissions were from the 18 to 64 age group. You’ve got to be pretty ill to get admitted at all. This is a period when there were a lot of restrictions including a major lockdown for part of it. The death rate is certainly much higher the older you get but death rate is not the only concern. If you remove restrictions the number of people requiring hospital admission in all age groups will rise steeply. When your health provision hits capacity then the number of people dying from a whole variety of causes will start to rise.

      While it is true that the restrictions, as enacted, have not protected the elderly in the sense that a lot have still died but it is a characteristic of COVID that it preferentially kills the elderly. Nobody knows how many deaths there would have been if those restrictions had not been employed so it is not possible to say that they have failed.

      • Marcelis Vanmechelen

        Thanks Warwick, for your reaction. Always nice to discuss things, and we don’t necessarily have to agree, that makes us stronger.

        You are right that we don’t know what would have happened if no restrictions would have been taken. But what we do know is the cost of these measures, due to a whole economy that is destroyed. And that cost is huge, not only financially, but will cause a lot of personal drama’s and deceases. And if you then see the result, 16000 people that died with Corona in Belgium (and the same in other countries), I am quite sure that the cost of the measures is much much higher than the benefits.

        And yes, also younger people have to go to hospital. That’s true, but much of these people (80% or more) have underlying health conditions. Therefore, in this proposal of a reverse lockdown, focus must be put on the elderly AND the vulnerable people. People that are perfectly healthy must live their lives as they did before.

        On a side note: for most of the diseases, there are clear protocols that define when the illness is severe that it requires hospitalization. Such protocols don’t exist for covid yet (which is logical as it is still quite new). So when you say that you have to be pretty ill before you have to go to hospital, you are right in many cases, but I’m also sure that many of the admissions are for precautionary reasons.

        Happy to further discuss of course, kind regards, Marc

  4. At 08:30 I get out of bed. Wonder where to do my shopping…

  5. In Toronto we have “senior shopping hours” mostly between 7:30 and 8:30 (there are the occasional, more logical, 8-10). Unless the supermarket is around the corner from you, or you can drive, it’s almost impossible to go. Many elderly need to be driven to where they need to go; others are on a ‘pill schedule’ where you have to take your pills in a certain order and at a certain time. I HAVE heard that there are lineups at these times too.

    What has worked better here is limiting the number of people in the store at any given time. The stores that do this best make EVERYONE take a cart as they have enough carts for the maximum number of people (75 people, 75 carts). They give you the cart – sanitized – and take the cart from you when you’re done. Also, there is someone playing “traffic cop” in the store moving the checkout line along.

  6. I am interested to know at what age we become’ elderly’. I am on the cusp of 75, mentally aware(despite what my wife says), physically fitter than a number of my peer group and younger ex-pats on this small Greek island but am classed as ‘vulnerable’. if I am so ‘vulnerable’ why must I wait until April to receive a Covid vaccination? It is a rhetorical question but is meant to address the almost patronising attitude the ‘experts’ and the media have toward those of us who no longer have to work (we’re old and of no use?).
    I would take issue with Marcelis’ arguments regarding death rates amongst the elderly and the implication that they should be protected by prescriptive measures i.e. early shopping hours. It is the case that the elderly are more likely to die of Covid as a complication of underlying health issues. However, this notion that we can somehow separate the elderly from the rest of society (family, friends, etc.) is nonsensical.
    I would contend that many of the infections/deaths within the elderly community are as a result of the
    younger elements within their circle not being as scrupulous in their attitude toward prevention as they should be. Warwick makes some very valid points regarding cases within the UK amongst the younger population. Lockdown measures have proved quite successful on this island of Zakynthos with the exception of those cases imported from mainland Greece and that was a failure of the system. Last summer, we had no cases on the island until tourists started arriving.
    As for going shopping at 8am? No thank you! I spent my working life getting out of bed at ridiculous hours of the morning or working through the night.

    • Marcelis Vanmechelen

      Dear Dave,
      I advice you to read The Great Barrington Declaration, a document that in the meantime is signed by more than 10,000 health workers, doctors, and medical experts.
      Next to that, please have a look at Agenda 2030 of the United Nations, and to the Build Back Better propaganda of the World Economic Forum. All this information is readily available on the websites of these organizations. Get informed !!
      If this is the future that you want for your children and grandchildren, then you are right: we should continue these nonsense measures.
      I am 6 years younger than you are (69), but instead of being selfish and only thinking about myself, I want my children and grandchildren (and all children and grandchildren) to be free and have a bright future. Even if that means that I might be infected and have a 0.23% chance of dying (see official expert paper of Dr Ioannidis on the website of the WHO).
      Best regards,