Slovak Nationwide Mandatory Testing as Exercise of Governance Tool.
There is a perception and there is truth. Or one is marketing and the other is reality. Any kind of politics is a play of perceptions. Ok.
Peak Fear, Peak Mania
Story of Two Manias: Blackout (April 2020), now Nationwide Testing (Nov 2020)
The nationwide testing equals the same peak mania when Slovak prime minister wanted to do Blackout* in April 2020. Just days after the country’s new daily cases peaked. Why? There was a “Government model” showing 700,000 infected and peak in June 2020. The whole charade was a giant fiasco by the end of April.
*Blackout, not lockdown; only essential infra functioning, China style.
The Lies to Sell
The basis for the decisions were as follows:
- Prime Minister: “We have 200,000 actives”.
- Minister of Healthcare: “I do not have this data, I estimate 50,000”. Clearly PM made that up to sell.
- Prime Minister: “We are heading towards a worse scenario than Czech Republic”. This was never true.
- Clearly, another lie from PM, to sell something.
- The country did almost no preparation for the second wave, despite knowing for months — it’s coming. Slovak experts warned throughout the whole summer.
- Slovak prime minister Matovič thought he solved first wave with face masks. The truth is — it was the decision of previous prime minister Pellegrini to do lockdown very early. Mobility decreased by 80% in 2–3 weeks which decreased the R<1.0
Lies, lies, lies. Or at least — just made up stuff..
Optional or Mandatory?
Yes, the other Governments will closely watch the Slovak nationwide COVID-19 testing. However for very different reasons then being communicated:
What is being marketed, sold:
The testing nationwide is optional.
What is the truth:
The nationwide testing is mandatory.
You can talk to people, you can do surveys, the message of Slovak citizens is clear — less then 35% consider the nationwide testing optional:
Here is the same one:
Prime Minister vs President
The prime minster clearly said: “It’s optional, however if you don’t comply — you lose freedoms”.
The president clearly said: “The nationwide testing should be optional”.
The president’s trust with the nation is 70%, while the prime minister holds 30%..
The Government Website ALSO claims the testing is optional:
Left: “testing will be optional”.
Right: without testing “you are forbidden to go out”. (exception to essentials like food, pharmacy, etc.). You can’t go to work or your kid can’t go to school.
PM also joins twitter 3 days before the nationwide ”voluntary” testing. What a coincidence. It’s a marketing gig, so everyone can start to congratulate him publicly; as no one cares about his FB outside Slovakia. #SeriousJoker
The large scale testing is nothing new. It’s been done in various forms in past. Either regional or targeted (senior home, hospitals, etc.). What is new this time is nationwide testing, as opposed to regional or targeted.
The idea sounds great, unless you are faced with simple governance question:
How does the Government ensure — everyone complies?
That is the part, which will be the key takeaway of the whole Slovak nationwide testing.
It’s very simple!
You take freedoms of all the citizens who do not comply.
Those who comply, get the freedom.
Those who don’t, cant’s even go for a walk (essentials only), and forget work.
Now try to do that in France, UK, US or Germany, nationwide. Good Luck!
There is something about “compliance“ which is disturbing:
If 50% agree, 50% don’t — looks like democracy, right?
If 80% agree, 20% don’t — it’s still looks like there is debate, right?
If 91% or 100% comply — aren’t you heading North Korea way?
One way, one dictator?
Example of public opinion in Czech Republic, “the #1 in Europe”:
Strong hope for nothing like it..
The idea as such is great!
I both oppose mandatory testing while believe the idea of Slovak nationwide testing is great!
Few things aside:
- Yes, the government hugely lacked preparation in major way in all areas for 3 months, w/o question. Few people should have already resigned.
- Yes, the government said the only tool we have is “face masks, wash hands, 2m distance”, despite limiting social contacts + large scale testing saved 1st & will save 2nd one. (EU still lagging testing capacity — the US had in 1st wave).
- Yes, despite the operational & resource load on the whole operation is a (giga) stretch and really make no sense for a whole country.
- Yes, there is no coherent strategy and communication towards Spring 2021.
- Yes, they suck in so many ways, on so many levels — that it’s unbelievable to see that kind of governance.
Why the idea is great:
You win the time back!
Despite all the tremendous effort and cost poured into it.
Slovak nationwide COVID-19 testing will be successful, because this is who majority of the nation is: we comply and help to make it success.
You will see images, videos of chaos, but in the end the people will solve everything, that’s who we are as people.
You will not be able to precisely say how much was impact of lockdown versus the nationwide testing — but it won’t matter in the whole picture.
However the accountability of the nationwide testing will be questionable:
- The prime minister politically forced only two decisions: nationwide testing or blackout (not lockdown, only critical infra — which is non sense).
- The day after the testing, people who test will enjoy same “half-freedoms” as 10 days before the testing, before the lockdown started.
Now, I maybe ill informed — but if the only decision was tests or blackout — how do we control the pandemic next 4 months; if the day after = all ok, now?
The reason is — already 10 days prior to nationwide testing — the lockdown is working & slowing the spread. Simple, and the testing is just a marketing cherry on top with definitely some results.
This is also the reason why there will be NO second round of planned nationwide testing.
Regional or targeted, sure.
Nationwide — None. Nada. Zilch!
I oppose mandatory nationwide testing for a simple reason:
You can judge the level of democracy based on how much freedom & rights are taken away from you or the citizens during the crisis.
The Slovak nationwide COVID-19 testing will be both hugely successful and big middle finger to the democracy.
We do not want to be China, or North Korea.
We do not want dictators as well.
Again, try to sell nationwide “optional” testing in France, UK, US or Germany..
And yes, the next day after the testing, the COVID-19 does not disappear from Slovakia. And Spring is too, too far away yet..
Governments can print money, but they can’t buy cars or vacation & dine.
No growth, or low growth results in more violence.
The freedom is not free.
She is exponential..