European governments are ringing the alarm as the number of COVID infections has risen sharply. In a number of countries, for example, in Ireland and the Czech Republic, all shops are closed again, in Spain there is a curfew on Monday, Italy is trying to cope with the situation by means of such measures as closing restaurants after 6 pm. The press is skeptical about the actions of the authorities.
Enough with us the carrot and stick policy!
The authorities must communicate the measures taken to their citizens intelligibly — and with due respect, however, as Primorske novice notes, Slovenia is not the case:
“The government overnight adopts decrees introducing more and more restrictions — from the prohibition to leave the home to the ban on moving between municipalities. And the explanations that accompany this is sometimes so confusing that they do not even reach the consciousness of those whose task is to convey them to the population. … A government that treats citizens like unreasonable children, giving them either gingerbread or slap in the face, thereby demonstrates a complete lack of respect for people. Therefore, it is not surprising that despite the increased number of infections compared to spring, more and more people do not trust the authorities — or are secretly breaking the rules.“
The masses need more culture
Cinemas, theaters, and concert halls are closed in Italy since Monday. Cultural figures opposed this measure. Sociologist Chiara Saraceno joins them in the pages of La Repubblica:
“Precisely because we understand the seriousness of the situation, including the possible consequences in terms of social cohesion, which has been at its limit in recent days, that is why we need more culture, not less. We need more opportunities not only to relax and distract ourselves, but also to reflect on how significantly the pandemic has undermined the foundations of our existence, so many distortions — and which ones — this virus has aggravated or created from scratch what new models we all need to look for thinking and actions together, so as not to become victims of fear, but on the contrary, to remain vigilant and responsible people.“
Track contacts — at any cost
Tracking the infection chains should be the highest priority, especially in the current challenging situation, Der Standard emphasizes:
“Dear contact trackers, don’t give up! Your actions are the foundation to keep the pandemic from spiraling out of control and the health system from collapsing. Only by tracking people who have come into contact with the infected — or presumably infected, along with informing all those in contact, can the virus be stopped now. … Not giving up — it also means screaming for help if the load becomes unbearable. In recent days, similar reports have already been received from contact tracing officers in several federal states. … The well-known slogan at all costs’ should extend to the staffing of contact tracing staff. “
Hungary: no time to hesitate
Nepszava calls for stricter measures in Hungary too:
“The Cabinet of Ministers now and then refers to the National Consultation [a nationwide public opinion poll commissioned by the authorities], which polled the majority of citizens in favor of maintaining a normal life. However, there are times when the government needs to go against the will of the people. … With such a rapidly spreading pandemic, it is impossible to simultaneously save both the economy and the health system. Even with the vaccine, life will never be the same. Especially if the government makes the issue of combating the pandemic a political issue. … Yes, and in Hungary, it is time to be clear: it is necessary to reintroduce the ban on leaving the home, set a clear time for visiting shops, close schools — and more tests.“