"What I want to say here tonight will have major consequences for all Danes," the Prime Minister began the press conference, which had been convened at short notice.
For the next few hours, we sat with our eyes glued to the TV screen.
Large parts of Denmark would be closed. Further restrictions or measures, as the Prime Minister put it, could not be ruled out.
Wov. So this was serious. After a few days, we slipped into a trance-like state. Carefully kept 2 feet away from others as we moved outside. Limited our purchases to the local Superbrugs. A couple of times we bought from nemlig.com, had the goods delivered to the door and thus reduced the risk of becoming infected to a minimum.
We followed the news, shuddered a little when new press conferences were convened, found and read statistics on the pandemic, washed and splashed hands, and were still occasionally convinced that we had been affected by the virus.
Our social life went digital. Also with our grandchildren, with whom we were advised not to meet.
"I can not visit you because of that stupid cold" as our oldest granddaughter explained to us when we spoke to her on FaceTime.
Luckily, we had put Heron ashore when we ended the season in Greece.
In the small town of Plataria on the mainland just opposite Corfu, Heron had been placed in a steel frame behind a locked fence. Here were also 25-30 other boats. Three of them were Danish and in our new digitalized social everyday life, we became friends with their owners. .
The Greeks had coped well with the Corona crisis. LockDown had been more restrictive than in Denmark. Corfu, like most other Greek islands, was virus-free. In Epirus (the region where Plataria is located) there had been a LockDown at the beginning of the year due to a malignant flu. Perhaps it had created the basis for the region to be able to report zero cases of Corona infection for a very long time.
After 5 long weeks we were able to meet for a walk-and-talk with children, daugther in-laws and grandchildren.
Eventually, the authorities gained the capacity to control the spread of the virus. The probability of getting conditions as in Northern Italy became very small. The borders were opened and the travel restrictions between Denmark and Greece were lifted.
At the beginning of August, the crews of the other three Danish boats flew to Greece to continue their voyage. The same day we bought plane tickets with departure 2 weeks later.
Over the next two weeks, the Corona virus flared up all over Europe.
We closely followed the Greek infection rates. They rose and rose. But there was still a long way to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' critical limit value.
As a precaution we let ourselves be tested and the day before we were to leave, we received the answer 'not proven'
On the day of departure, we discussed whether we should postpone departure until there was greater clarity about developments in Greece.
But the female part of Heron's crew was firm and we drove out to Kastrup Airport.
Before entering the departure hall, we put on a mouth mask. Uncomfortable and strange not being able to follow the facial expressions when talking together.
We quickly got through the security checkpoint where there was the shortest queue we had ever experienced.
The plane was 3/4 full.
When it was in the air, the nice young man next to us moved over to a completely vacant row. Then we had the row to ourselves.
The plane landed on time, but still we had to hurry to reach the boarding of the plane to Corfu.
And then something happened that was not part of the plan.
We were selected for testing
"We do not have time. There are only 5 minutes to our boarding to Corfu »we explained the man who had stopped us« and we have also just been tested in Denmark »
The man said no problem, and led us over to 2 long queues. Here he raised his hand and waved us to the front of the queue in front of the many test tents. When the test was taken, a lady told us that we would be contacted within 24 hours if the result was positive. We passed on through the airport, where there were a lot more people than in Kastrup, and at the last minute reached our flight to Corfu
When boarding, our suitcases had been taken out to go as cargo. We had explained that the transfer time in Athens was very short and that the suitcases would then not be able to get on board the plane to Corfu. But the explanations were in vain. The same was our concerns. Both suitcases rolled out just as nicely on the conveyor belt at the baggage claim at Corfu airport.
We took a taxi to the port. The ferry to Igoumenitsa left the quay just as we got out of the taxi. The next one went 1 1/2 hours later. But it was not so crazy. Now we got time to have dinner.
On the ferry we had to wear a mouth mask again. It seemed crazy to sit covered on the deck of the ferry in the open air. Some passengers took off their masks. But it was bold. They risked a fine of € 150 if the police discovered it.
It was dark when we arrived at Igoumenitsa. Several taxis were parked at the site. We took one and drove to Plataria.
With mutual help we found the small guest house where we had booked an overnight stay.
A friendly older man presented the nice little room where his wife had put fresh fruit and cake for us in the fridge.
After 12 hours of travel, we went to bed tired and woke up the next morning dead excited to see Heron again after 10 months.