“The tractor will cure everyone from coronavirus”: why Belarus refused quarantine
“I call this coronavirus nothing else but an psychosis and I will never refuse it,” says Alexander Lukashenko.
The authorities of Belarus reacted to a dangerous disease in a different way. School children continue to attend classes, mass events are held, including a football championship, army exercises. Minsk left the borders open (but all neighbors closed them). Izvestia understood the causes and possible consequences of such inaction.
Vodka as a cure against the virus
The number of people infected with coronavirus in Belarus on April 23 reached 11,289. According to the Ministry of Health, 1,740 patients recovered and there are 79 deaths.
In neighboring countries, the situation is similar. In Ukraine, the virus has killed 220 people. Kiev has taken unprecedented security measures. Closed metro, shopping centers, restaurants, canceled classes in schools, intercity and international transport links. Limited urban traffic.
In Belarus, on the other hand, the situation regarding the pandemic is more relaxed.
- Despite some criticism, I call this coronavirus only psychosis and I will never refuse it, because I have already experienced many such situations with you, and we know what this led to. I am absolutely convinced that this is another psychosis that will be beneficial for someone and harm someone, says Alexander Lukashenko.
According to the Belarusian leader, one should not panic, but "just work."
- Especially now, in the countryside, it's nice to watch on TV: people work on a tractor, no one talks about the virus. The tractor will cure everyone. The field heals everyone, ”he says.
For prevention, Lukashenko suggested washing his hands more often, having breakfast, lunch and dinner on time, as well as going to the bathhouse and drinking vodka.
- I’m a non-drinker, but recently I’m jokingly saying that vodka should not only wash your hands, but, probably, on the day of 40-50 g in terms of pure alcohol - poison this virus. But not at work, the president advises.
There is no need to do anything
Belarusian students continue to attend classes. They were not transferred to distance learning, nor were they announced early vacations.
- Old people suffer, not children. Why do we now declare a holiday so that these children go to grandparents. Old people under 80 years old, over 80 years old: “Ah! Grandson arrived. ” We will kill the elderly! Therefore, there is nothing to do, says Lukashenko.
University students continue to study, including at BSU, where infected people were identified. Only the Belarusian National Technical University (BNTU) declared quarantine for two weeks, but the pause ended on March 15.
Students at the same time refuse to attend lectures.
- "In my group of 30 people, only 4–5 go to classes” says a student at the Minsk Linguistic University.
Mass events are held. The Belarus Football Championship remains the only championship in Europe. Moreover, matches are held with the audience. On March 20, 3.6 thousand people watched the game between the Brest Dynamo and Smolevichs, and one thousand spectators watched the battle of the Minsk Dynamo and RUH.
On March 23, the active phase of a comprehensive verification of the combat and mobilization readiness of the Armed Forces began. 6 thousand people took part in the maneuvers, including one thousand from the reserve. As part of the audit, border security is being tested, anti-tank systems, artillery, MLRS, and aviation are used. Defense Ministry spokesman Vladimir Makarov says the exercise program has not changed because of the coronavirus.
Belarus left the borders open. The irony, however, is that all neighbors closed the borders in turn. First, Ukraine took restrictive measures, then Lithuania, Latvia and Poland, and the last - on the night of March 17-18, Russia. Moscow explained that Minsk is ignoring the requirements of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Minsk Airport is not as active as before. Canceled 70 flights to Europe and Asia. According to journalists, a third of Belavia's planes are on the ground.
Passengers, however, are seen at the carefree airport staff. - They don’t check the temperature, they don’t ask what country they flew through, they don’t take any tests for coronavirus, there are no thermal scanners. Nothing at all. You take a suitcase and you leave, ”one of the passengers says.
The officials do not greatly reassure the citizens of the country. The situation is getting difficult by economic difficulties. In the third week of March alone, the national currency fell 9.35% against the dollar (22 kopecks).
There was a stir in the shops.
- Selling everything that is cheaper. And not only from the category of "necessary", but also from the category "let it be." Great demand for buckwheat, rice, pasta, vegetable oil. Take tea, coffee for future use. “Hapun” has been going on for several days, we only have time to lay out the goods on the shelves, the manager of one of the retail chains told reporters.
Queues are also noticed in household appliance stores.
- The demand for TVs, refrigerators and other large household appliances has grown, as is usually the case with our devaluations. Those who need it anyway buy it, but they put off the purchase. Buyers are well aware that then it will be more expensive, ”says the seller.
Several dozen petitions appeared on the Internet demanding quarantine. One of them collected 16 thousand signatures.
Experts say that the introduction of quarantine is has many negative psychological effects.
- Lukashenko has long been creating the image of Belarus as an island of stability and security. To a certain extent, he became a hostage to this picture of the world, ”political scientist Valery Karbalevich says to Izvestia.
Belarusian analyst Dmitry Bolkunets explains the behavior of Minsk with a set of political and economic reasons. According to him, companies and educational institutions are not ready for the transition to a remote mode of operation.
- For this, there is no experience, no funds, no online colaboration platforms. The quarantine will lead to a halt in the industry, and this is an additional cost, the source said.
According to expert estimates, the introduction of quarantine, together with a collapse in world markets, will lead to a reduction in republican exports by 30–40%, and a drop in GDP by 20%.
- This year the presidential elections in Belarus will be held. It is clear that the deterioration of the economic crisis will anger the electorate. Therefore, it was decided to pretend that there is no infection, as the Bolkunets emphasizes.
Quarantine measures introduced in Russia and other countries due to the spread of coronavirus pandemix will not give any positive result. Such an opinion was expressed by President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko on Sunday, April 26.
“They tried to isolate the virus in Russia. Did it worked? No. And we are the same as in Russia. You cannot isolate us, ”Lukashenka said during a live broadcast at the Belarus 1 television channel.
According to Lukashenko, under quarantine, "someone in isolation is sick, they are pulled out of there, treated while everyone is sitting in these apartments."
“Now they have opened the gate - people have come out. And the people infected by this virus is going up again. And the second wave of incidence will turn out. The first one didn’t go away, and the second wave will cover them wither, ”the Belarusian leader believes.
Therefore, according to him, he “decided to go his own way,” reports TASS.
The number of people infected with coronavirus in Belarus over the past 24 hours has increased by 873 people and reached 10,463; 72 patients died in the country. Due to coronavirus, no quarantine has been introduced in Belarus; preparations are underway for the Victory Day parade. From April 20, the schools have been opened
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended quarantine and curfews. However, President Alexander Lukashenko refused to close state borders, calling this measure utter stupidity, and also condemned some other preventive measures, including the closure of churches.
Experts believe that the situation with the coronavirus epidemic in Belarus is at the point where an urgent decision is needed. The number of cases began to increase by 30-40% per day.
The population of Belarus begins to complain against the fact that the country's president, Alexander Lukashenko, does not introduce any quarantine measures in the country, but, on the contrary, practically denies the existence of an epidemic. Residents made a petition calling on the authorities to quarantine. It has already been signed by more than 150 thousand people.
Moreover, the son of a resident of Polotsk, who died of pneumonia, Lidia Matveeva, who was diagnosed with a coronavirus, wrote a statement to the police demanding to institute criminal proceedings against the president, Alexander Lukashenko.
Economist Aleksnadr Rogers believes that it is too early to talk about the alarming situation, Lukashenko still has time to maneuver.
Here the situation is not simple: Alexander Grigorievich is a stubborn man, if he has decided something, he will not give up. So I'm not sure that he will make another decision. But, on the other hand, it’s also impossible to say exactly how much sick, the tests in Belarus are few, the influx of patients, a certain critical mass is also not observed, and the statement to the police is, excuse me, a cry of the soul, one can only sympathize with a person, - says Rogers.
The expert noted that, according to rumors, an epidemic has been going on in Belarus for a long time, and the death toll is increasing, they just make doctors hide everything, but it is not possible to verify the plausibility of such statements.
Alexander Lukashenko himself laughs at the quarantine question, saying that you can enter quarantine in 24 hours, but "who will feed us" or that "cows on a remote place do not milk."
Political analyst Dmitry Rodionov believes that he has no other option.
Lukashenko will pull to the very last. It’s hard to say where the hell is, when he realizes that you can’t do without quarantine. He may try to hide it, somehow manipulate data, but corpses are corpses. You can’t hide them, ”says Rodionov. - This is a double-edged sword: Russia can survive the quarantine - we have reserves, but Belarus has a small economy, and the country is not rich. You look at America, there over a month already ten million have lost their jobs. And in Belarus, and 100 thousand unemployed enough to start a crisis.
Rodionov believes that the key to this pandemic is the very free manipulation of the number of deaths. On the one hand, it is possible to call all victims of the coronavirus its victims, on the other hand, the death toll from the virus can be underestimated in the same way, transferring death to other causes. Whether Lukashenko adheres to one of these strategies, time will tell.
Dmitry Rodionov noted that elections will be held in Belarus this August, so the absence of economic disruptions is one of the priorities of domestic Belarusian policy.
It cannot be said when Lukashenko will change his attitude towards the epidemic and whether it will, however, most likely, in April it will become clear how the epidemic will go across Belarus. So, Russia should also be ready for such a development of events, since Belarus, despite the specific relations in the field of hydrocarbons, remains our main ally and brotherly country, ”he added.
The publicist Anatoly Wasserman, on the contrary, believes that it makes no sense to cheat with numbers, since the result will be exactly the opposite.
- To hide such things is more expensive. When they try to hide something, they distort the picture for themselves, which means they do not have the information necessary for making decisions. By the way, historians therefore trust the documents of internal reporting more. I note that many quarantine measures in Belarus have been taken for a long time. Borders are controlled by neighbors, even with Russia, transit flows have been supervised from the very beginning, much is already being done.
Also, according to him, there is no consensus among epidemiologists on which system to combat this infection is the best. So Belarusians could experiment.
Many pet owners know how important the companion of our beloved animals can be, especially the joy they bring when you arrive home.
And now, as most of the population around the world is on lockdown, many pet owners have started to share funny pictures of how they currently cope with sharing “their territory” between them.
Bemorepanda has collected a compilation of top cute and adorable pictures that show how much joy and affection pets can bring during self-isolation.
A dog wearing a protective mask is seen with its owner inside an autorickshaw in Chennai, India, March 30, 2020. / P. Ravikumar
A man wearing a protective mask walks his dog in Bari, Italy March 31, 2020. / Alessandro Garofalo
A man relaxes with his dog on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 26, 2020. / Ricardo Moraes
A dog looks out the window as a boy studies at home via video conference in Rome, Italy, March 30, 2020. / Alberto Lingria
A dog wears a mask on a street in Shanghai, China March 22, 2020. Aly Song
Home veterinarian Wendy Jane McCulloch examines 8-year-old cat Ivy at the closed Botanica Inc. office as she makes client home visits, in Manhattan, New York City, March 31, 2020. / Caitlin Ochs
A man wearing a face mask and his dog look out of a window in Prague, Czech Republic, March 24, 2020. / David W Cerny
A cat lies in a window near a theatre in Oberammergau, Germany, March 19, 2020. Bavaria's Passion Play, staged every decade since the 1630s when villagers thanked God for the end of the plague, has been postponed for two years due to the spread of the coronavirus. / Andreas Gebert
A dog looks through an apartment window in Washington, March 17, 2020. / Carlos Barria
Lea, 19, plays with her cat as she studies at home during the coronavirus lockdown in Moorsel, Belgium March 31, 2020. / Francois Lenoir
As of today, the 25th of March the coronavirus has killed more than 20,912 people worldwide and the majority of them are from Europe, reaching a number of 13,582 people, according to AFP.
The number of cases infected with coronavirus passed 463,408, while 113,802 have recovered. More than 328,704 patients are in mild conditions and 14,379 are in either serious or critical condition.
Italy is the most affected country with over 7,503 death followed by Spain with 3,434 deaths and China, with 3,281.
As more countries are faced with complete lockdown, US Senate leader have agreed a $2 trillion stimulus package with the White House.
India is now on a lockdown for 21 days, with more than 1.3 million people on quarantine. Narendra Modi, the prime minister, told Indians that he was banning people from leaving their homes in order to save the country, all the citizens and their family. He also stressed that if after 21 days the situation will not stop or improve then the country’s development risked being set back 21 years.
New Zealand has declared State of National Emergency after reporting more than 200 cases of coronavirus. Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister, called on every citizen to ‘act like you have Covid-19’ and warned that those violating compulsory stay-at-home rules would face “no tolerance”.
As of today, there are more than three billion people living under lockdown measures in order to stop spreading the coronavirus, which the United Nations warned that is threatening all of humanity.
“Covid-19 is threatening the whole of humanity – and the whole of humanity must fight back,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said, launching an appeal for $2 billion to help the world’s poor.
“Global action and solidarity are crucial. Individual country responses are not going to be enough.”
As more people are working remotely due to the Coronavirus quarantine, employees are finding creative ways to appear more online than they actually are.
For example, today most companies are using Zoom Meetings for their daily meetings. For those who are not familiar with Zoom, it is an app that allows people to hold video conferences. Here at Bemorepanda we also use Zoom and we love it!
Ok, so far all good. But, for those who does not know, there’s a feature on Zoom that can tell hosts if chat participants have navigated away from the active window for more than 30 seconds. In other words, your computer narcs you out to your boss when you’re paying more attention to funny animal videos than you are to the meeting.This means that during meetings or online classes, if you think you can switch apps while the other person talks, the app will tell on you.
However, it seems that some Zoom users have gotten pretty creative with how they are beating the app’s feature, where some have created looping videos to make it look like they’re paying attention, while others have created a custom background which features their still image.
As far as the host is concerned, they will think you’re still in the meeting, but you in reality, you can do whatever you like, like lying on your bed, playing games, eating or just nothing. Zoom Meetings was founded in 2011 by Eric Yuan, a lead engineer from Cisco Systems and its collaboration business unit WebEx.
The company went public in April, 2019 and at that time, it was valued at $16 billion. In early 2020, usage of Zoom increased sharply as schools and companies adopted the platform for remote work in response to the coronavirus pandemic, rising 67% from the start of the year to mid-March.