Wednesday, April 29, 2020

A Polish journalist reports on drama in Spain. "Dictatorship introduced"

The World media is not reporting on this so you may not know it. Spain is now under dictatorship, socialist dictatorship, or as Bernie Sanders would call it a Democratic Socialism. Following, is our unauthorized translation of an interview with a Polish reporter on assignment in Spain published by Do Rzeczy, a conservative portal/newspaper:
- In the Polish media, a lot was said about the bad situation in Spain regarding the course of the fight against coronavirus. How is it really?
- Małgorzata Wołczyk: The situation in Spain is so dramatic that the media compare the current situation to 1939, the end of the Civil War and the complete ruin of the country that resulted from it. 
- When you say the "ruin of the country" you mean only a health factor? 
- No. Today it is not only a crisis associated with a pandemic, but also a crisis of democracy or, as some say - the introduction of dictatorship. The emergency announced 46 days ago is in fact a State of Emergency, in which the government has granted itself unlimited prerogatives, and thus abolished the democratic control of parliament, subjugated the judiciary and governs with the help of decrees and limits civil rights and freedoms. 
- How? 
- By censoring the media, social networks and even messengers like WhatsApp, which I experience myself. 
- Do people rebel against government restrictions? 
- They can't rebel because the government keeps people locked down in their homes until May 9. Sanchez's government at first disregarded the epidemic for a long time, later it was late in adopting the most basic preventive measures, and finally gave the Spaniards the most severe regime announced anywhere in the world in connection with the epidemic. People can leave their homes only if they can present a "work pass" proving that they go to work, they need to see a doctor, pharmacy or the nearest store. Starting this Monday, after 41 days of the lockdown, one parent can take one child for an hour walk. All the Spaniards can do is express their disapproval on their balconies through the so-called "cacerolada", beating on pots and making noise at a specific time or calling virtual demonstrations on YouTube. 
- And how do the Spaniards approach the coronavirus epidemic itself? 
- You can feel depression and fear. We are talking about a nation that according to official data has already lost 24,000 people, but according to other data it could be a total of 37,000 people. Let's compare, for example, the most important indicator, a mortality rate: in Poland we have 14 dead per million inhabitants, in Spain 720 per million inhabitants, and in the Madrid region alone 1,500 per million. These are colossal losses, unimaginable for us so far. But right next to that is a rising number of unemployed: already 9 million. 
-You're talking about victims. It's mostly older people, what is the age range? 
- Spain belongs to the "oldest" nations in Europe, hence the loses are more abundant. The mortality from COVID-19 reaches 3.11 percent there, while for younger countries, like Poland, this indicator is at the level of 0.66 percent. Yes, over 90 percent of the dead are people over 80, but almost every day the media report the death of a policeman, doctor or nurse because permanent exposure in the front line of the fight and lack of basic preventive equipment leads to unnecessary tragedies.  
- During today's conference, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced the next stage of economic loosening. Some say it's too fast. 
- I have a slightly different perspective because I follow life closely in Spain and spend a few hours every day talking to the Spaniards: journalists, professors and even MPs from the VOX party, whom I interviewed for Do Rzeczy before. Poland seems to be a different planet for them, really. I am not surprised that we were placed among the safest countries in the world in the Oxford University ranking. The Polish government has taken key strategic decisions right on time, something that saved us from such dynamics of illness as it happened in Spain. 
If the government monitors the situation with the same care and consciousness as has been the case from the beginning, I think we have nothing to worry about. I know that the four stages of our opening aroused admiration and not only on the "right" side of Spain. The Spanish government is just beginning to make plans, but it seems that there is permanent chaos management in progress by the philosopher, because I would like to remind you that the Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa has nothing to do with medicine. My experience with Spain and daily immersion in the world of the local media give me a sense of security and even pride, hence I believe that we have matured to the announced loosening in the rhythm provided for by the government.
- Who copes better with a pandemic. Poland or Spain? 
- I believe that the numbers speak for themselves. In a situation where Spain, even after the "murderous" 46 days of the state of emergency and locking the nation "at home", reports around 300 deaths per day, that means, it still pays such huge costs for neglect from the first stage of the pandemic. It is easy to compare, because it is about the reaction of countries since the detection of patient "0" and deceased number "1", and it turns out that the Polish government has adopted the maximum efforts even before we had the first deceased, and the Spanish government not only took an active part in propagating the virus by encouraging multi-million demonstrations in Spain's largest cities on March 8, but it acted only after those "biological bombs" went off when there were 30 dead and hundreds of thousands infected. Until the very last moment people were deceived to carry out ideological marches, hence on March 6 the government stopped publishing official data on infections and deaths.  
I would not have flown to Madrid to see those demonstrations if the government did not cheat on the epidemic and did not lie that it was just a light "flu". I took photos, collected material for the article in complete ignorance of the fact that I am in a crowd of hundreds of infected people and I will pay for it (luckily I had some light symptoms and got sick in quarantine). My personal reflections will probably surprise many, and maybe even enrage, but I think that the actions taken by our (Polish) government give them high marks on both the ability to assess the situation and the measures taken. We were not famous for health tourism like Spain, the state of our health care system has always been bad, even terrifying, we are a much poorer country and yet we are not affected by this drama of watching thousands of coffins of our countrymen. Each of us can order or buy a mask, something that is impossible to do for millions of Spaniards. I leave the rest of the commentary to numbers and rankings published by independent Research Centers, such as the one in Baltimore or Oxford. Let's stop complaining for once, because our situation is incomparable to the tragic situation in which millions of Spaniards found themselves. 
- Many medical professionals complain about the lack of protective equipment. Is Spain also facing such problem? 
- I hear all the time that there is a lack of basic protective equipment, which is why, according to available data, medical personnel in Spain was one of the most infected in the world. It was said that at some point it was as much as 15 percent. Now the situation is a little better, because finally masks or aprons became available. During the pandemic peak, when 900 people died a day, we could see doctors clothed in garbage bags, and in some hospitals they had to use one mask for up to 2 weeks, although of course they were not allowed to complain about that to the media.

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