Belarus: The land that COVID forgot

The following is an article written last November 28, 2020 by Daniel Hardaker for Spiked, describing his last visit to Belarus. Unlike the rest of the world, life in Belarus continues on as usual – there are no masking mandates, lockdowns, and curfews despite the ongoing protests calling for the end of Alexander Lushenko’s 30-year rule.

Unlike in other countries, Hardaker says, Lushenko and his opponents have taken the same position when it comes to COVID, which has helped the COVID psychosis at bay. Hardaker adds, “No section of Belarusian society appears preoccupied with COVID. There are some differences of opinion about what constitutes taking precautions, but it is clear to everyone that this is not the plague, and it does not require anywhere near the level of reaction seen elsewhere.

Editor’s Note: If COVID-19 was so deadly, how can a country like Belarus manage to allow life as usual, without people dying like flies? Why aren’t hospitals full and people aren’t paranoid?

This article shows us what happens when true science is used to make decisions relating to citizen welfare. It is surprising that his opposition did not utilize Lushenko’s light-touch approach to the pandemic as a rally point against his administration. It is even more surprising that an authoritarian regime like Lushenko’s did not exploit COVID to stop the protests threatening his reign.

Meanwhile, in democractic countries such as the UK, Germany, and Netherlands, protesters are denied their rights to express their discontent with the government. The denial of permit to protests have led to violence and arrests in these countries. Police officers, who were tasked to protect citizen have become instrumental in this systematic oppression.

The experience of Belarus drives home a very important point: the hype over COVID-19 was a tactic to keep citizens in fear, and in essence, within the control of their governments.

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