Hi, my name is Marie and I live in Peyia in the Paphos district of Cyprus, on the west coast of the island.
Paphos is a very beautiful ‘city’ picturesquely located on the southwest coast of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Its azure blue waters have bathed the bodies of many dating back to the Neolithic era. And, this includes Aphrodite whose mythical birthplace was said to have been Old Paphos also known as Kouklia. Her touch of love lingers today in the new Paphos. We’re particularly proud of our seaside city and its harbour. It’s a peaceful yet vibrant city that welcomes tourists to visit our wonderfully preserved fortresses, ancient ruins and tombs. We’re also humbly a UNESCO world heritage site.
According to official reports there are slightly more than 800 people living with the COVID-19 Virus. Approximately 20 people have succumbed with their deaths attributed to the virus.
I feel very grateful to the Cyprus government for the efficient way they handled the Pandemic, they were fast to act and fast to implement strict measures in order to contain the spread of the virus. So bravo to them.
We’ve been in lockdown since 16th March and since 24th March have been under strict lockdown restrictions. As residents we need to apply for government approval to leave our houses. We do this via SMS or cell phone text. We are permitted one SMS per day. Anyone stopped by the police without SMS approval, an SMS message, relevant identification or paperwork, is given a minimum €300 fine or may be taken to court for stricter fines or even imprisonment. We also under curfew in the evenings from 21:00 to 06:00 the following morning.
All parks, beaches, public areas, churches, shopping malls and non-essential shops are closed. All airports and ports are closed to all passengers with the exception of repatriation flights.
From Monday 4th May, the government have increased easing measures for the island:
- 3 SMS approvals per day will be allowed.
Swimming in the sea and exercising away from home will be permitted (as long as social distancing measures are maintained at all times).
DIY shops and other retail shops may re-open (following new government guidelines for numbers of customers allowed in the store - naturally sanitisation is expected).
- The evening curfew will change to 22:00 to 06.00.
This will be Phase 1 of the easing of the lockdown measures, and as long as people adhere to the distancing measures, wearing masks and gloves and there’s no increase in the number of new cases, then new phases will be introduced gradually.
Phase 2 on 21st May could see the end to the restriction of movement meaning that we may no longer need to apply for outings via SMS text messages.
We are very fortunate where we will live as we have a lovely garden and large house, so there’s never a feeling of being “trapped” or “climbing the walls”.
I’ve been getting on with gardening, planting out chilli plants and tomato plants, as well as butternut squash and herbs. We are absolute chilli pepper nuts here, the hotter the better!
I’m a self-employed artist here in Cyprus and normally sell my items in a craft shop in Paphos called Rainbow’s End which I am involved in with 10 other artists. However, our shop has been closed since lockdown began. I also had to close my Etsy store as the postal service was stopped too for several weeks. I’ve been working on building up my stock for the shop, painting and getting caught up with tidying my craft room. I think we might need a bigger shop!
Having lots of spare time is also quite scary in a way, because I’ve even found myself drawn to doing the housework more and even enjoying doing the ironing! But, I’m sure that won’t last. I’ve downloaded a fitness App to my phone so I now find myself exercising almost every day and actually enjoying it! I am a big fan of Bullet Journals and have been journaling almost every day since 2017, I’ve been creating new layouts, spending time on themes and also reflecting on what I am grateful for every day, be it large or small – these all get added to my gratitude spreads which I love to update every day. Sometimes we don’t think there is anything to be grateful for but there is, everyday and for all of us, we just need to spend a little time each day to reflect and think.
I will admit that at times during this situation, that I have felt scared, anxious and vulnerable as everything seems to be out of my control. I’m renowned for planning, making lists and sticking to routines, so this whole experience has thrown all of that out of the window. It certainly makes me appreciate just what I have got, my husband, my family and my friends. Who are, thank God, all healthy. The ability to keep in touch by FaceTime or WhatsApp is an absolute life-saver.
Hopefully everyone will keep up the good work that has been made so far with progress towards combatting this Pandemic and things will return to “normal” soon. Whatever “normal” was?