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A holiday of a lifetime… Then COVID-19

As stories of COVID-19 whirl around on our social media there was one in particular that caught my attention.

A story of a young lady and her family who were forced to be in “self isolation” as her parents were confirmed with COVID-19.








Her parents went on what they thought would be the holiday of a lifetime. Visiting the Holy Lands was a dream come true. On returning from their holiday and stepping foot in their homeland, Zakynthos, their dream turned into a nightmare.

Confirmed case.

One of the passengers, a 66 year old man, who lived across the waters in Amaliada was confirmed with the virus. Authorities were alerted and  immediately they tried to track down those who travelled with him.  There was talk across the Island that 4 people in Zakynthos might have contracted the virus and sadly it wasn’t long before people went off in hysteria, pointing fingers at people who they never knew existed until now. Comments of unbelievable hatred from all over were seen, false news in every form was told until the person I will call Ana spoke on her and her family’s behalf.

Below is her story…..

“A trip thought to be a trip of a lifetime to the Holy Lands, a trip to a country that was then “safe” and there were no entry bans, ended up being a nightmare for my family. Leaving Israel there were no checks. Arriving in Greece, again there were no checks.

Five people from the island were on this trip. On Friday 28/2 three arrived on the island while the other two arrived on Sunday. My parents, my uncle and my aunt, had no reason to think that they had COVID-19. On Wednesday 4/3, they were informed by the group’s manager about their travel companion who tested positive for the virus, and were immediately isolated in their homes. Since then the only time they came out of their homes was to go to the hospital to undergo the necessary examinations.

From the very first moment they were suspected to be carriers of the virus, their shops were closed and isolated from everyone.

After being positive for the virus, they stayed and remained at home following the instructions of The National Health Department. All four are in good health to this day. We, their children, have remained from the very first moment on our own preventive initiative in our homes where we remain today. Although we insisted on being tested to see if we were carriers, we were categorically denied it as none of us still have any symptoms today.

We have not been in close contact with our parents since they returned, neither we nor our children. The instructions from the National Health Department are to stay all of us for precautionary reasons in our homes for 14 days from the day our parents returned to the island and we adhering to this strictly!

All these days we have been confronted with a psychotic situation, we have had to face the social outcry of our fellow citizens. Really, would any of you intentionally sick with a virus want to infect the whole world? Is it possible for the human mind to think of this perversion?

We are sincerely sorry and outraged at all the inaccuracies and evils written and spoken against our families and most of the time they are from people we do not even know! Our families have never given the slightest reason nor have they ever bothered anyone on the island and have only given positively to this place. Now, through no fault of our own, we have all been treated as if we have the plague. I am letting you know that we have decided together to move legally, because patience has its limits. We will not allow anyone to defame us and our loved ones. Those who use fabricated news and lies will face the consequences of the law. In Pygro the District Attorney intervened for those who did not follow the home isolation directive. In Zakynthos, the Prosecutor may intervene for all those who spit on our names.

Take a step back and wear our shoes just for a while. How many of you or your acquaintances have travelled in the last two months since the virus appeared? Zakynthos would not remain untouched by the virus. Unfortunately, it happened first to our families, but that doesn’t mean that no one else on the island had it. I remind you that many remain asymptomatic.

Because many are worried about being affected, given the media’s terrorism, we cannot answer your questions. The Infectious Disease and ESA officials informed us that only those who came into very close contact with our parents (eg hugs, kisses) and had any symptoms should be examined. As for us, their children, they are pleased that we have not had any symptoms to date and no one is in danger of contacting the virus from us.

Finally, we wonder and fear that tomorrow we will be able to leave our homes and that just how people will behave towards us and our children. The extent to which this whole issue has taken hold is enormous, and we are more concerned about how our children will be treated by society. We are adults and can handle it in some way but it is not fair for any innocent child to be stigmatized forever.

We thank everyone from our hearts that stood by us from the first moment. Your support is valuable and we are glad to have real people next to us.”

After reading this I couldn’t help wonder, who are we really to blame? I don’t think at this moment we can blame anyone. It’s happened and anyone of us could be next. Should we not support those around us that are suffering? Is that not the proper thing to do. This case has a happy ending as the lady and her family are out of quarantine, unfortunately for the 66 year old man, sadly he passed away today. His wife who also has been affected obviously left in shambles. As our friend said put yourself in our shoes!

*The name of the person has been withheld as requested. Zakynthos Informer would like to thank her for allowing us to re print her story.

About Louise Inzk

Louise is Australian born and has been a Greek citizen since 1991. She has deep cultural ties with the island, often writing about Zakynthian Traditions and Culture. She is also an active member of the Volunteer Group of Zakynthos, Giostra Di Zante and is a member of the women's choir "Rodambelos". Her love of the island and all it offers saw her joining the Zakynthos (Zante) Informer admin team in 2014.

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