Covid-19 pushes Bulgaria’s Bansko onto hazardous slope

Bansko’s lifts are now closed. It’s happened on probably the best day of the season. But Covid-19 has come to Bansko and finally the decision was made. Now the hazardous times start.

Protecting the elderly from infection has not been the priority. You could say this is like anywhere else, but the public health care system in Bulgaria would shock most foreigners from the rest of Europe. It is not the best, in my opinion. Maybe the fact that Bulgaria has one of the lowest life expectancies in the EU is indicative of that feeling.

Bulgaria will not be able to cope with large number of cases and equipment and supplies will be in short supply.

It’s now about avoiding illness and worse, rather than the economic impact. In Bulgaria, most people expect no or little state assistance. It’s up to friends and family to support each other. It’s what used to happen everywhere, but still remains how we get by here in Bulgaria.

Then there is the local economy which supports seasonal and local workers alike. From bars and restaurants, cooks, servers, transport drivers, cleaners, ski instructors, ski shops, excursions, photographers, supermarkets — to, well, everyone. And virtually every business. It will be an economic challenge.

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(Photos, taken on March 16: Lance Nelson)



Lance Nelson

Lance Nelson is co-owner of and Bansko Blog. Contact: X @bansko