June 5. Greece had a Covid free day on Wednesday. Yesterday we had a new outbreak of 15 people up north in the city of Xanthi. Today mass testing is rolling out in that area. It’s a good thing. If our case count rises then we are identifying where they are and controls can be activated. We’ve been lucky in our city of Katerini. We’ve had zero cases for over two months and only ever had six cases in total.
Yesterday, I spent the day at the Olympus house. I had to mow the lawns. I always wear protective gear when I mow the lawns: safety glasses, ear protection, hat, gloves. I also follow the example of the local boys. They wear knee-high gumboots. I mean it is almost law that you wear closed shoes when walking around the mountain for protection from snakes but the boots are better. Ankles are protected too. This time I also changed my gloves from my regular garden gloves to thick leather ones.
Last week, one of the local men, a shepherd, was bitten by a venomous horned viper right behind my house. He only just made it too – thanks to the intervention of two other men who happened to be close by. They whisked him off to hospital. Knowing they might not get him there in time, they called an ambulance which met them halfway. He’d followed all the rules. The closed shoes. Carrying a stick etc. He’s been shepherding all his life but when his kerchief slipped off his neck and he bent to pick it up, the snake struck.
Because it happened behind my house a couple of the local women went to the little chapel my mother had built in front of our house and lit candles and prayed for him. He’s home now after spending three days in hospital. Recovery is slow, and he still might lose half his hand plus he’s still bed ridden. But the women are convinced he’ll be just fine because of their prayers.
So now you know the reason why I change to the thick gloves.
It was a beautiful clear day and the views from our veranda are of the peaks of the mountain and of the plains and right down to the coast.