People Who Stayed Outside to Be Beside Us
Photographer: Yannis Kolesidis
Ever since the COVID-19 disease caused by the new coronavirus knocked on the door of our country, Greece, with the announcement of the first confirmed case, our daily life has radically changed.
We’ve acquired new habits, we’ve even distanced ourselves from our loved ones, we’re wearing face masks, we’ve filled our pockets with antiseptic wipes and sprays and – most importantly – we’ve learned to ‘Stay Home.’
But this does not apply to everyone. There are some citizens who do leave their homes, risking their health so that the rest of us stay healthy and remain safely inside. People whose profession, conscience and sense of responsibility do not let them stay confined within the security that their houses provide.
People like intensive care professor George Dimopoulos and cardiologist Dimitris Konstantonis, who refuse to be defeated by the pandemic. They fight alongside nurses such as Taiba Riaz, Maria Tsamouri and Ioanna Moskofi every day at the Attikon Reference Hospital to help patients overcome COVID-19.
Hospital catering assistant Eleni Griva describes meal time as the happiest moment of the day for patients, because they feel that they are not alone – that someone cares for them.
Konstantina Papachristodoulou, an emergency worker for the National Center for Emergency Assistance, rejects the ‘hero’ label that is often appended to those in her profession. She simply does what she loves the most: her job.
Trolleybus driver George Koufopoulos felt incredibly lonely on Easter Sunday when he made two consecutive trips without any passengers in a deserted Athens. As he drove through the empty streets of the Hellenic capital, he was internally begging for someone to hop on and break the deafening silence.
Giannis Mentzos, a cameraman for the state broadcaster, made a conscious decision not to abuse the special-purpose permit he had been given so he could fulfil his mission of informing the public.
Like them, there are countless pharmacists, police officers, bakers, supermarket staff, municipal cleaners, metro drivers and delivery workers who stepped outside their abodes and plunged themselves into the frightening outdoors to do their jobs.