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I’ve just watched a fly-by of a police helicopter. Never normally seen in this neck of the woods, but increasingly being put to use to detect illegal gatherings. Sounds like the opening line from a story about a police state, like something out of 1984. Well, this is April 2020 and the country in question is Cyprus. So why are the police looking for large crowds of people?
Well, dear reader, it’s all down to the fact the main religion in Cyprus is Greek Orthodox Christianity and that means it’s Easter… yah! Well, no, it’s not a reason to celebrate, it’s a reason to think and reflect, because we are on lockdown and the churches are supposed to be closed. But I know of two churches on the island that I will bet my last dollar on being open, albeit is in a very hush-hush way.
The threat of catching Covid-19 seems not to bother some people and they are hell-bent (quite literally in some cases) on doing what they have always done and go to church. Okay, you want to catch a deadly disease and you are willing to do so despite all the warnings, then off you go. But it isn’t that simple, is it? No, because your stupidity may cause others to become infected, others who have been adhering to social distancing and have only caught it because you happen to work in shop they have just visited.
Let’s face it, people are stupid. I’ll qualify that statement, some people are really, really stupid. It seems many Cypriots like to have bonfires, let off crackers and generally have a party on the Saturday night before Easter Sunday because not only is it Easter, it’s the end of their enforced fasting and they can eat meat – yah! Well, no, it’s not really a reason to celebrate as the upshot of this is, usually, some go to far and eat and drink too much and end up in hospital. You know, that place a lot of people go to and die from Coronavirus these days. Of course, one other thing some people do here in Cyprus, by way of celebrating Easter, is fire their shotguns in the air. It’s a bit like Fourth of July in America. I was once at a BBQ in Los Angeles on the Fourth of July and was amazed to hear the sound of gunfire all around me. My host saw my amazed expression and simply said, “They’re celebrating.” Flabbergasted is not a word I use a lot, but it sat quite nicely in my thoughts that day.
Though it’s rare to read about or hear about people who die from gunshot wounds when the firearm is shot into the air, it’s probably because such incidents are not often recorded, though there have been some incidents reported in newspapers. In 2013, a seven year-old child out walking with his father, in Virginia, USA, was struck in the head by a bullet from a handgun that was fired into the air as a celebration of the 4th of July. Hours later the boy died.
It’s a fact of life, some people are very stupid. It’s also a fact of life that what goes up, must come down.
Copyright © Tom Kane 2020