What would everyday life be like if our parody pandemic had hit us in 1995?
Fantastic scenario: 25 years ago, Andreas Papandreou imposes quarantine on us
By coronavirus spreading rapidly to almost every corner of the globe, experts shout that the only way to get a "brake" is to stay home. The states where Covid-19 has made its presence felt, they try in every way (either for good or for bad) to make the. unruly sit "in their eggs", in the hope that the exponential increase of cases will be stopped.
As it turns out this is not just an easy task. And to imagine that today, now, we have all the comforts on our plate. Two works to sit and watch at night, go σε pass! A little surfing on the internet, none video call with loved ones and most of the day is a memory.
No one, of course, says that this is something easy but bad lies: first (and most importantly) we protect ourselves and those around us and second if we grumble think how people should have reacted 25 years ago. If you are thinking about how these days will go, imagine that we had 1995 and not 2020.
Or rather do not even think about it. We will try to give you a little taste. And then just put your imagination to work.
Entertainment without digital platforms and communication without mobiles and internet
For the economy of… words and in order not to repeat the same things, suppose we are in March 1995, the coronavirus has come to Greece, the cases are increasing, the experts are worried and the government κυβέρ Andrea Papandreou, decides to take some restrictive measures. Every afternoon, the Minister of Health, Dimitris Kremastinos, announces the new cases and addresses the citizens to tell them to stay at home.
Citizens, having nothing else to do, discipline themselves and start looking for ways to entertain themselves. And somewhere here the difficulties begin.
Private channels are in the first five years of their life and do not have any special dynamics. It is a given, however, that they would try to cover the issue as best they could. So we would have to watch several newscasts but without the current news flow from every corner of the globe in a matter of seconds. So more analyzes. Until there.
Digital platforms for good movies and interesting documentaries or netflix, was science fiction. And since the reason for movies, then the video clubs were in their dozen but based on the restrictive measures to avoid overcrowding, it is likely that the government would have closed them τα
A good solution for that time would be radio and of course a good book (as now). After no chess, backgammon and board games (these are basically good ideas for now), they should definitely be recruited. The more advanced ones should not have had any "atari" type game consoles to "kill" there for a few hours.
And we come to the most important part. The internet was then (for Greece) in its first steps. Something Facebook, something youtube, something sites to download movies just… did not exist. But even if they exist, it does not mean that you could use them.
For those who are younger, just remember this: if someone was talking on the phone, you could not access the internet! Ή different: If you were on the internet and after about 40 minutes (so… the connections were so fast) the page you had chosen to open was at 97%, and at that time your mother picked up the phone to call Grandma to see how the quarantine goes there, then the connection was lost and you had to start all over again!
And we are not even talking about unrealistic charges. In connection with Internet, the units were raining. Like talking on the phone with Australia, one thing. Communication with the outside world, then, should be done without cell phones, without email, without chatrooms for the vast majority of citizens. Only with one phone. And whoever catches it!
And if we want to go one step further, given the level of infrastructure then, it is considered difficult for the OTE network to withstand the huge volume of phone calls. So it is most likely that the Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Kimonas Koulouris, would put restrictions on the use of the phone in order not to crash the system.
Work and distance education
More or less both work and distance education are related to what was said about the internet in the previous section.
Let's take the case of work from home first. Little can be said here. Such a thing would be practically impossible in 1995. Laptop, tablet, Smartphones, it was science fiction. To be precise, at that time there were few houses that had a good computer capable of "lifting" the weight of a job. So, in fact, here we can say with relative certainty that a terrible problem would have been created for the market but also for the economy that might have made the Papandreou government think twice and three times about the possibility of banning workers from moving.
The same is more or less true for education. For all the reasons mentioned above, distance education would be practically impossible. Think of it as… a bit difficult even today. Especially then.
A possible scenario like the then Minister of Education George Papandreou would have instructed teachers and professors to send to their homes students information notes with the lessons to be done and the parents to assume, for as long as the restrictive measures lasted, the role of the teacher.
Of course this would be a good way to spend time indoors during this informal quarantine but it is likely that at some point everyone would give up the effort seeing the futility of the thing and somehow the school year would be extended. Something that, in any case, in case the restrictive measures last for a long time, it is very likely to happen next summer.