“I have to send a text every time I go out”

Anastasia Deftereou, 22, Athens (Greece)

In Greece, you can leave the house only to go to the pharmacy store, to the supermarket, to see a doctor, to walk your dog or to exercise, but you always have to carry your ID and send a text to a designated number beforehand. In the text you have to say your name, where you live and the number of your activity. Number one is for going to the pharmacy, to see a doctor etc… Number two is for going to the supermarket. I mainly use number six because I walk my dog. 

Anastasia’s chat with the number she has to text whenever she leaves the house. The first line is for activity, the second for her name, and the third (covered in green) for her home address.

If you don’t send a text and you get caught, you will have to pay a fine of 150 euros. The other night, my dog was crying so I decided to take her for a walk, but I forgot to send a message — it was late at night and I am not used to being in a codependent relationship whereby I have to always state where I am going and what I am doing. I encountered some police men. They looked at me. I looked at them. I smiled. And I kept going. I was scared, but I tried not to show. I think they didn’t stop me only because I was with my dog.

The quarantine has brought a mixture of feelings, thoughts and activities. It’s been over a month. In the beginning it was bad — I was feeling lonely and bored. Before the virus, I was studying for my bachelor’s degree in theology, I was doing my internship teaching in a school, and I was tutoring kids as a side job. I had my life sorted out. And then everything just stopped. I think I’m now getting used to the new reality. I’m not tutoring children anymore so I have no income — that’s the worst part of my quarantine, but at the same time I’m not spending that much money, so I am doing okay. 

Anastasia in Arachova, a Greek Village.

I don’t see myself living here in the future unless I want to work as a waitress. In Greece, you do not get a fair chance — if you don’t have the right connections or if  you don’t come from a wealthy family, you will find it harder to succeed than in some other countries. People get degrees, but then they end up working at a supermarket or in a mall. Coronavirus has made things even worse. 

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