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Life Under Lockdown in a Greek Village with a Population of Nine

Pappades resident Giorgos Michailides. Credit: AMNA

Although they number just nine individuals, residents of the rural, northeastern Greek town of Pappades are strictly following the country’s anti-virus measures.
Speaking to the news agency AMNA, Giorgos Michailidis, a resident of Pappades, sent the message that even in this rural town, the virus is being taken seriously: “Just because we’re only a few people doesn’t mean we don’t follow the advice of specialists. We all wear our masks and keep distance from one another.”
“We don’t do anything different from anyone else,” Michailidis noted, adding that residents of the town, which is approximately 40 km (about 25 miles) away from Drama, the nearest city, always send the state-mandated text message when they want to leave their homes.
They only leave the confines of the town, situated high up on a mountain, when they need to go shopping for basic goods in the neighboring town of Sideronero, which is larger and has more stores.
Many Athenians rushed out of the city to their ancestral villages on the eve of the national lockdown, causing massive traffic jams. It’s not surprising that city-dwellers were looking to escape the bustle of the megalopolis for the bucolic life of the village before being closed indoors.
Many feared, however, that this mass exodus would lead to the spread of the virus in rural areas, many of which are far from hospitals and have older residents.
This was fortunately not the case in Pappades, even though it makes for the perfect lockdown spot with its isolated, breathtaking mountain trails and endless activities to take part in outdoors. Throughout both lockdowns, the town’s population remained the same — just nine people.

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