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Who wants grilled sausage and pork chop on Tsiknopempti 2021?

It could have been been a relaxed day with a bit of posting about the traditional Greek Meat Barbecue Feast Tsiknopempti in the morning and plates with grilled meat, chops, sausages, meatballs – plus mountains of salad – from noon onward. The BBQ smell would arise from the balconies in our neighborhood, laughter and music and the clinging of glasses would be heard. It could have been a relaxed day, grilling and eating in the sun. A day where the spring in the air, the sun is shining bright and is pleasant war. It could all be perfect. Theoretically.

Practically, it is a Tsiknopempti where I didn’t sense the smell of even a single souvlaki or sausage. No laughter far and wide. All quiet on Greek BBQ front.

It is a day of extreme pandemic fatigue and extraordinary frustration because authorities imposed additional movement restrictions last night.

Restrictions that have no longer any meaning and make no sense to anyone with a common sense.

I struggled a lot last night to walk through the labyrinth of statements by the head of Civil Protection. And I wasn’t alone.

At the end of this struggle, it came out that the tougher lockdown is summarized into

some senseless restrictions for shopping <2> and to bank <3> -within the municipality boundaries or up to 2 km from home –

and

the absurd measure that one can go for exercise <6> with up to 3 people on foot or on bike even 20 km away from home to another one or two municipalities but cannot do that using a private vehicle or a motorbike to reach his leisure destination.

Furthermore, there are increased police controls for those using option <4> for assistance to an elderly or someone in need. I heard this morning that police was asking for even written confirmation that the person was indeed in need.

Will these measures contain the spread of the coronavirus, when commuters keep on traveling packed in public transport means, work next to their colleagues in closed spaces, people queue outside banks and supermarkets and many do not properly use their masks?

Hardly.

But the government had to pretend it does something as the daily confirmed infections are steadily over 2,000, and the hospitals in Attica on the verge of collapse even if the health ministry turned some into only-Covid facilities – at the expense of non-Covid patients including chronic ill.

After a year in pandemic and fear, after four months in the second lockdown that seems endless, the restrictions announced on Wednesday was a very painful slap on the face of those who have been sticking with the measures and limited their movement for whatever personal or family reasons all of the time. It is almost 360 days now. And that’s a damned long time.

A painful slap on the face of citizens and the doctors and the nurses and the whole society, as the government admitted that it has not been able to deal with the pandemic, although it knew that this winter will be difficult.

It refrained from imposing a strict lockdown like in March 2020 for a few weeks, it choose the “accordion method” of opening and closing business activities and schools every 2-3 weeks, it did not dare to touch the production sector in order to avoid paying more state assistance to workers on suspension contracts and – most gravely – it did not enhance the public health care system with personnel hiring and increasing of ICU beds.

Furthermore, it constantly confused the citizens with controversial messages of hope and warnings and all it could effectively do was to extend night curfew by 3 hours, and strengthen policing by hiring thousands of police officers.

Not so scientific if it was the epidemiologists who advised the government to take such measures and not other, more effective ones.

In this sense: Who wants a grilled sausage or meat chop on Tsiknopempti 2021?

Your KTG

PS On the other hand, maybe neighbors did not put the charcoal on BBQ-fire thinking it’s not worth to bother just for 2-3 people and ordered from the nearest taverna and souvlaki grill and ate secretly as if in state of occupation.

After all, we are Greeks who love traditions linked to food, aren’t we?

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10 comments

  1. I am with you in everything you wrote.

  2. Me too…completely agree

    after having read this, I went to my kichen and prepared 4 souvlaky in a pan for my wife, my children and me… bread and satziki…. some red greek wine and clinging of glasses have also been …etzi afto ine (my greek is poor as is my english sorry). Tank you so far for your honest work…. and … we never walk allone…

    cheers

    • Well I’m in England, but just looking at that photo makes me happy, hope to return to Greece and hopefully very soon to enjoy the hospitality of the Greek people

  3. Have just had a couple of paidakias (with everything 😉 ) to honor the day. How I miss the event!
    Thank you, KTG, agree totally!

  4. I saw some flagrant rule breaking with BBQs yesterday. Hope that this was not typical in villages or we will see more transmission like those in the Rethymnon region last month

  5. Yes to everything you reported on … yesterday in Petralona we saw only 1 BBQ on the top of an apartment by some young guys … usually we could see the smoke from at least a 6 or more BBQ … if we could see an improvement in the number of infections from the many sacrifices made in Athens then I would say it is worth the effort … but we see no improvement in the number of infections … the only thing left is a total lockdown like the Chinise do, meaning you can only leave your residence once a week to get food … ??? … perhaps the vaccinations will help these numbers improve soon …

  6. Once humans make the CONNECTION how DEADLY the “hunter-gatherer” diet of eating animal corpses is, these EXTREME DEADLY conditions don’t have to be repeated. Glad not to have smelled the stench of incinerated animal corpses !

    • For Your Information … a “Vegan” diet is ranked at #26 versus the “Mediterranean” (most descriptive of the typical Greek diet) at #4 overall by a a panel of nationally recognized nutrition and health experts.

      They rated diets in seven categories: how easy it is to follow, its ability to produce short-term and long-term weight loss, its nutritional completeness, its safety, and its potential for preventing and managing diabetes and heart disease.

  7. Somehow the panel of nationally recognized nutrition and health experts overlooked the DEADLY 2,601,188+ victims the “hunter-gatherer” diet left behind till now…not to mention the 50 million+ DEAD the Spanish flu left behind from an infected chicken…”its SAFETY, and its potential for preventing and managing diabetes and heart disease.” Really ? Greece has more PHARMACY’S than believable nutritionists…..strange way of managing nutrition, diabetes, weight loss and heart disease….

  8. As a respected ancient Greek once said…..

    “As long as Man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will never know HEALTH or PEACE. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.”

    ― Pythagoras