Cyprus is, for locals at least, almost back to normal. I'm not sure events with crowds are back on - but we can go to the beach, to shops and restaurants. May onwards, life is lived outdoors here anyway - so apart from a little mask-wearing, you'd never know there was a pandemic on.
We had this, last summer. It's a curious interval. Businesses are beginning to open, even though their key target demographic, tourists, are not here. On a purely selfish basis, it's awesome. I'm playing millionaire's golf, with no-one else in sight. I can pitch up at any classy restaurant and get a table without reserving. I have my choice of sunbeds at the beach.
During lockdowns, I could only go out for proscribed reasons, and had to send a SMS. Once a reply was received, I was allowed three hours to get out and get back. Much of the time I was allowed two texts a day, but the last lockdown, just one. So, if I took the dog for a walk, I couldn't shop for groceries. If I had been to the Doctor, I couldn't pick up take-out. That was becoming tiresome.
Economically, we desperately need tourists to return. We are well into the second season decimated by Covid-19 and counter-measures. Cyprus depends heavily on tourism, and can not afford to lose another year. Already there are some flights coming, but the biggest inbound market, the UK, remains suspended. The UK government has a traffic light system, with Cyprus in the amber section. For the moment, this means that UK residents holidaying in Cyprus would need to quarantine on their return and purchase a series of mandatory tests. As I type, every Mediterranean tourist destination is desperately trying to convince the UK to add it to the green list.
I'm torn. There's part of me that can't wait for life to go back to normal, yet there's another part that remains nervous. Thus far, I've avoided any indoor mixing, and I'm not rushing to any of the big cities.
I have had one vaccination and my second is scheduled for July. Perhaps after the second, I'll feel more confident.
Is this the end of the pandemic? Yes and No. It seems we will be living with Covid-19 for many years to come. As I write, it is ravaging the developing world, tearing though poor communities in South America, Asia and Africa. Meanwhile, many in the developed world are vaccine-hesitant. Some feel that the vaccine is a cover for some sort of state control, others feel that the vaccine is insufficiently tested. Still more rationalise that as long as everyone else gets vaccinated, they can hedge their bets on herd immunity.
There is no state control in the vaccines. Every day that passes, we have more and more data to suggest that vaccination is safe and that Covid is not. Herd immunity is a thing, not the best thing, but a thing. It is delayed and hampered by people hedging their bets - as there are plenty of people whom, for all sorts of valid reasons, are unable to be vaccinated. Herd immunity is their protection. Their only protection.
If you can get vaccinated and do not, then you are contributing to continuation of the pandemic. The continuation of the pandemic is killing people. See the connection?
Go get vaccinated.