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Tales from the Coffeeshop: Covid craze makes a comeback

Health minister, popi kanari, hospital, health, Covid, pandemic, epidemic
WHAT was Dr Popi Kanari’s (who is not a doctor but uses the title because she wants all the world to know she received a PhD, which makes her a superior human being) reasoning for imposing the restrictions apart from the obvious power-trip?

Covid craze makes its comeback


COVID craze has made its comeback, in a lite version, for now, but the possibility of it eventually returning to its former glory cannot be ruled out.

The number of covidiots wearing masks in the supermarket was up on Friday, straight after cabinet approved the measures on Thursday, and it will not be long before the paranoia spreads and they start demanding restrictions are placed on our liberties.

For now you are obliged to have a negative PCR or rapid test, carried out less than 48 hours before visiting a hospital, a health centre, a doctor’s surgery, a dentist and an old people’s home. Mask-wearing is mandatory for these visits, despite having a negative test, while people working in these places must have a mask on, at all times.

These were proposals made at the meeting of health minister, Dr Popi Kanari and the so-called scientific advisory team which was called back into action, after a long lay-off, to provide a semblance of scientific justification for the unjustified measures.

The news has got all the covid zealots excited as they can have something to be frightened about again, illiberal measures to slavishly obey and the opportunity to condescendingly reprimand the unmasked heathens for being irresponsible and selfish.


I WOULD not be surprised if businesspeople with large stocks of facemasks or antigen testing kits they could not get rid of, put pressure on the government to re-introduce measures that would boost sales. How else would they dispose of stocks they had already paid for, gathering dust in warehouses?

The measures will also boost revenue for pharmacies, which welcomed the measures in an announcement issued by their association on Saturday, urging people to wear masks when entering pharmacies. The association also did its own scaremongering, which is very good for business, saying there was an increased number of people going to pharmacies for antigen tests, many of which were positive.

It also identified a new commercial opportunity for its members, proposing that chemists be allowed by the authorities to vaccinate people. They reminded the authorities that chemists had the “experience and the training to offer vaccination services,” thus “contributing to the quicker vaccination coverage of the population.”

The Cypriot nose can smell an opportunity for a fast buck faster than you can say coronavirus.


WHAT was Dr Popi Kanari’s (who is not a doctor but uses the title because she wants all the world to know she received a PhD, which makes her a superior human being) reasoning for imposing the restrictions apart from the obvious power-trip?

On Friday, thoktor Kanari said there were about 3,600 cases. There were 70 elderly people in hospital with covid, not necessarily because of it. In short, 98 per cent of the cases suffered symptoms similar to flu, a cold or were asymptomatic positives and did not need hospital care; most of them, probably, did not even bother going to a doctor.

So what was the point of imposing measures and forcing testing, before people could see a doctor (not a thoktor) or go to a hospital? As thoktor Kanari said, there was a “surge” in infections, but we had not reached the “phase of an epidemiological wave.” What she did not say is why when there is a surge in flu cases no measures are imposed.

Of course, by forcing people to have tests, the number of recorded cases will increase and, hopefully, we will go into the “phase of an epidemiological wave,” which would justify more fascism and allow the celebrity epidemiologists to resume running our lives.


CHARITABLE souls who still believed, despite the evidence, that our Prez possessed other skills apart from smiling to the cameras and uttering sweet nothings, had their illusions shattered again this week, after he announced plans for a cabinet reshuffle and then changed his mind.

Last Sunday, in an overlong interview he gave Phil he volunteered information about a reshuffle, saying, “what I can tell you with certainty is that the reshuffle will take place before I complete 18 months in office.” On the same day, news of a reshuffle appeared on the front pages of Politis and Kathimerini, both crediting presidential palace sources.

On Wednesday, Phil hack Andreas Bimbishis who gets his information directly from Nik II, reported the prez “appears determined to proceed with changes to the government line-up in January.”

In order to appease his pissed off ministers, at the start of Thursday’s cabinet meeting he decided to fix things by resorting to amateur theatrics in front of the cameras, which were invited into the meeting room to film the presidential pantomime performance.

He called on the members of the cabinet “to close your ears and eyes to everything being said about a reshuffle and names.” It did not occur to him that they would not have to close anything if he had not made the reshuffle the number one story.


NEEDLESS to say, it was not his fault, he told the ministers for the benefit of the cameras.

“I gave an answer to a specific question about the 18 months. I approach you as colleagues. If I have something with you, you know you will not be informed by someone else. Neither from newspapers nor from anybody.”

He was not being entirely honest, because there was no specific question about the 18 months, nor about a reshuffle. He spoke about both issues when asked to evaluate the first 10 months of his term in office. Phil merely printed what he had said during the interview.

It is not the first time he has said something and then blamed the journos for reporting it, because he subsequently decided it did not sound good for his image. The same happened with his planned sacking of the chief of police and justice minister (also performed in front of the cameras) after the Limassol race riot. Media were informed he was looking for a new police chief, but in the end he gave up the search and blamed journos for creating an unnecessary noise.


THERE is a foolproof way to avoid such problems in the future. After the prez says something, the presidential palace should issue a statement informing media whether it should be taken seriously.

When he says something he does not mean or something he will regret after a couple of days, the palace should immediately issue a memo for media with the advice ‘not to be taken seriously, please ignore.’

This would mean that much fewer of his statements would be reported in the media, but that would be better for all of us.


ON FRIDAY Phil even reported the names of the two ministers and two deputy ministers that the prez will axe in the reshuffle that would take place before 18 months are up or before the end of January.

One of those named for the sack, deputy minister research and innovation Philippos Hadjizacharias did not take his boss’ advice seriously. He did not “close his eyes and ears to what was being said” and tendered his resignation on Friday.

I suspect the names were given to Phil by the palace in the hope this would lead to the resignation of the four because the prez is terrified of telling them to their face that they are being sacked. Thoktor Kanari was one of them, but she will probably want to hang around to lead the heroic fight against the surge in covid cases.


THE INCOMPETENCE of public parasites was well-documented in the findings of the investigation into the flooding of one of the rooms housing the state’s servers last April. The servers were in a room in the second basement of the finance ministry building, but right above it were water tanks that were leaking.

Parasites responsible for the servers did not know water was leaking into the server room, whenever it rained, while the person in charge for the finance ministry building maintenance knew there was leaking from the water tanks but did not know that state’s servers were in the room into which the water was leaking.

As usual they were all blameless as the flooding was a natural disaster, an act of God.


THERE was a similar problem of water leaks at another state building and the boss of the department, fed up of waiting for months for the Public Works department to send someone to fix the problem, decided to act. An outside plumber was hired and for a few hundred euro stopped the leaks.

This landed the person in trouble with Odysseas because the correct procedures for fixing the problem had not been followed – no tenders had been sought for the €300 job, which could have saved the taxpayer €20. At the finance ministry no procedure was violated, which ensured the flooding took place undisturbed.


AT LONG last the personal envoy of the UNSG to Kyproulla was formally announced on Friday evening by the UN. Although Nik II welcomed the announcement, he has already started setting conditions about the resumption of negotiations. It makes one wonder whether he was being serious in constantly pestering Antonio Guterres about the appointment of an envoy or did not really mean it.


I BELONG to the minority that considers social media the biggest scourge of modern life and was overjoyed to come across what the late, great political satirist P.J. O’Rourke had to say about it. “Whose bright idea was it to make sure that every idiot in the world was in touch with every other idiot?

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