How can you trust your government to deal with the pandemic if the government is a moving target?

Personally, I’ve been very upset these last days to see that one of the rising star technocrats in my home country was fired by the leading coalition (liberal) prime minister.

This happened just as the Ministry was starting to clean and clear up health communication, make hospital contracts more transparent, and in general to reform the healthcare systems. They were also pointing at flawed methodologies to report covid data, blowing the whisle on some systemic problems.

In any case, this firing is not only a political maneuver, that might please or displease you depending on who your vote goes for, but there is something more important about it: For us citizens, not having a consistent approach to the pandemic in a critical time when many people doubt restrictions and vaccines, undermines deeply our chance to hold anyone accountable for the covid19 measures and results. Me, I didn’t trust the government generally, or the covid measures taken, but I did trust this person and his team to at least tell me the truth. This is a small positive in a sea of bad news of course. Now they are gone…

Have you also put your hopes in a person or a regulation, or a community effort that you see is paying off? if so, which one is that?

Our team of ethnographers have been talking to people in Czechia, Poland, Germany and other countries and by reading their notes I understand many citizens there share feelings of distrust in government. Is it possible to see some positive signs amidst it all? @jitka.kralova @amelia @Maniamana @SZdenek @Jirka_Kocian and others?

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Our new president is no genius, but he’s stable, follows the science, and is finally getting people to pay attention an get vaccinated. You are right that there needs to be stability at the top. We endured a year with a president who suggested drinking bleach could be curative. I wish you luck and good healt.

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Thanks @Bill! Agree with what you said about your president, and boy, even from afar you can see that at least the vaccination campaign is moving forward quite responsively…

It is a serious issue, yes. I am a double citizen, and both my countries (Italy and Belgium) changed their entire governments during the COVID pandemic. So, not only there are frequent time inconsistencies, with countries first saying that schools are not going to close, and then they should close, or vice versa; there is a whole problem of passing the buck, as the new ministers can blame their predecessors for whatever is going wrong.

A place where you see this shift is COVID contact monitoring apps. In the summer of 2020, they were hailed as an important measure of health policy; as of early 2021, nobody seems to care at all. With the exception of the UK, I have not seen a critical reflection on that operation. And of course, the incoming ministers do not feel honor-bound to give us some accountability on something that was initiated not by them, but by their predecessors.

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I gave up on trying to understand the effectiveness of covid19 rules when even the Swedish case - which could have been a true learning case because of its resemblance to a controlled experiment, with unitary policies and leadership - does not seem to impart consensus around what actually works or not, even if only for Swedes. I seems that all is still relative. I’m hoping others like @hugi have a better picture and have compiled what could be deemed as lessons.

For ref, this article left me in as much darkness as the usual:

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Frankly speaking…of course you can’t trust them and you should not. And probably neither the guy they fired. It’s just time to grow up and accept that we can only rely on ourselves and our own judgement and to admit that the people in power THEY DO NOT REALLY CARE ABOUT US (and they never did). Great song by MJ if some of you remmeber…Trying to convince oneself this is not the case is just a denial mechanism that will certainly not improve the reality outside. I mean some things should be really obvious now after over one year of worldwide fun. Actually the distrust in governments is I believe an excellent very positive sign of people taking back some power and responsibility

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The problem is that ‘THEY’ is a black box by which, in this particular case, we want to say ‘governments’, but cases like the ones I describe above point to inflexion points- better people who make it to the government or structures of power but not with enough traction or support.
Disclosure: my mom is starting to lean more and more on the conspiracy side of things (cabals ruling the world etc) mainly out of fear. And when she sends me conspiracy articles, her main question is: why would THEY want to inflict absolute surveillance, through the restrictions, or worse, mass genocide on people, through the vaccines? And then we are forced to break down the ‘they’ and see that governments are made of different people, some better than others.

Then again, you do see that the disproportionate power some people have in this world can alone lead to disasters… like this article which @Matthias just shared:

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Hi Noemi “They” is not a black box for anybody who does its own research. Why would they do that? Well ask Staline, Hitler or the Chinese communist party why they did. And by the way in Chine it is the same party ruling. They did it 75 years ago, they did it in Rwanda, they didi it in Ukraine, why wouldn’t they do that again? Oh, maybe because its just conspiracy isn’t it? That’s exactly what some people are still saying about gaz chambers and the holocaust- that it did not exist despite all the evidence. I am absolutely disgusted by the vaccine propaganda while real scientists are heavily censored on all possible platforms, that mass campaigns are ongoing and scientific evidence including full disclosure of vax ingredient IS NOT AVAILABLE. Do you know its the first time propylene glycol is injected in a human body? Do you know Rna is recombinant by nature? And by the way I do not think its about depopulation (or lets say just a little bit) but yes I do think it is about absolute control. It does not require to be a Nobel prize to add up the censorship, the total lack of transparency, the halt to working cures like hydroxychloroquine, the enormous stress put on people the economic disaster, the divide and reign policy, the few big comagnies who are owing Big Tech, Big Pharma, Big Agrobusiness, and where our tax money goes, how all the laws were changed in 2017 and before. So either this forum is about asking questions and searching truth either its just a marxist propaganda undercover. People who have some experience living in Eastern Europe shall be asking more questions. Vaccines are not a cure. Vaccines in general are prophylactic. BUt when the prophylaxy gives you chance of 70% of side effects including possible death, you should have the right to weight the pros and cons. And first of all why was all the effort put on vax, which is highly illogical for a mutating virus, and not on cure and understanding the disease? Well there is a very simple answer, Because it always was the plan. Because sorry to say but biotech will not save us just as GMO plants did not save the world from hunger and pesticides. They did just quite the opposite. So to all who still are on this forum: it takes a lot of courage to face the truth. And I am not saying do not get your vax. Do it if you fell like. Just stop trusting fairytales and become grown ups and if you wish to take part in the experiment just be ware it is an experiment. Be scientific. To all who believe in science. Stop believing. Start applying. Read the data, read the stats, read the scientific documents, about the tests about the vaccines. But the real data not the ones from articles. Check the sources. Read the official descriptions not the ads! Compare the death tools, check the procedures. Last year in my country death toll from the Covid was 6000 people. But death toll compared to 2019 was 75 000 people MORE. it means 69 000 MORE people died not because the contracted to virus but because the medical procedures, lockdown, stress and failure of the medical system did kill them. As simple as that. I am totally sure its the same all over the world, maybe a little different in Sweden or in Tanzania. By the way Tanzanias president unfortunately died recently, we do no know why. Another terrible coincidence. Yes there might be good people in the governments here and there. People with good intents. They may be just as manipulated or dependent as others. Because its a lot abut who pays you and how much do you have at stake. As a doctor, would you still be able to work if you tell the truth or just ask questions? Simple answer is NO. In most countries gag orders have been issued at the beginning of the pandemic and people who decided to spoke were threatened or could not officially treat patents any more. People this is not conspiracy this is just what is happening around you! But continue to read the NY Times if it makes you feel better. A lot in life is just about faith.

A little update: I’m in Romania this month to get myself vaccinated. Here the news of the day is: We’re running out of people to vaccinate! That’s to say that too many don’t want to get it.

Quite sad, that we are at 11% only, when EU countries are making much more steady progress. So now ANYONE can get a vaccine, the government even waived reservation or waiting list protocols. They are doing mobile vax centers, drive throughs, vaccin marathon type events, bonuses for GPs and so the worst is probably yet to come.

Sorry @Sonia, we have to live and disagree as to which sources we choose to read. The fatigue going on nowadays in society makes it even harder to sometimes engage with other points of view. But I read your words carefully, and acknowlege your point of view. I hope you do the same.

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Noemi, how come I am not surprised about your choice? What else can I tell besides beliefs are beliefs and stay so until they are confronted with reality. It is not possible to argue with some inner beliefs. The only thing I can say is that it is practical life experience that changed my beliefs, not the sources I read. Sources are only theory. You can’t for example explain to somebody who is racist that it’s obviously stupid to be racist just by giving him some good books. We all analyze reality based on our experiences. But the other thing is to be open to hear the experience of other people when it comes your way and get some reflection about it. Well the only thing I can absolutely guarantee you is that having even 99,99% of people vaccinated will not make us free of diseases or free in any other way either. But well, maybe most people are not concerned at all about that. Just face the truth that we have another wonderful reason to divide humanity.

Not to get too deep into this discussion, but I must admit that as someone in their mid-20s and living in a country where there still is an age prioritization for vaccinations, I am really frustrated with older people who refuse to get vaccinated, most often with AstraZeneca, because they think it is not good enough for them.
So much about social solidarity between age cohorts and irresponsible young people.

(Admittedly, this is luxury problem in the light that I live in one of those wealthy countries that secured a lot of doses for their population, but nevertheless it is frustrating)

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Of course, I wouldn’t think otherwise and none of the platforms I trust claim that, nor are many of those choosing to be vaccinated. The way I weigh my options is trusting the solution for the problem at hand (the pandemic, not the corruption, control, or evil on this world) in terms of what I see as the right thing to do overall; not at all believing in magic or that this vaccine is a panacea for everything, or that the governments know what they are doing etc. But I do believe in the base science and taking into account the risks and what science admits it “doesn’t know”. And here I think we part ways again…
Otherwise, I learned a lot reading you, as a community manager exercising empathy is key.

Hm, sorry about that. It is the same in Belgium where I live but not so strong current of antivax, as in, say France or Eastern Europe. My luck was that I could go home to get the jabs… instead of just waiting.

Where are you based by the way?

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thank you :slight_smile:
I mean it is ok to wait, I totally get and respect this, it is only annoying when people refuse to get vaccinated who are offered the jab. I am now in the UK, but I spent a considerable time with my family in Germany during the last lockdown. They still have a priority list in place there but I also have the hunch that people are more skeptical towards Astra in Germany than they are in the UK

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I think all those who want to participate shall be happy that there are enought doses for them? And also maybe some will be left to be send to this poor third world countries if the national demand is fulfilled. I guess that would be really annoying if there would be demand exceeding the supply and we would have to play the lottery like in Contagion (this now world famous Hollywood movie where everybody dies in the end). So I do not get you why do you mind older people getting it or not, that is their choice fortunately. They do not have many choices left anyway. Why should it be frustrating for you? That shall rather make you get your dose faster if less elders are in line. I also wonder what that massive provax campaigns are for. I mean, basically, people are after 1 year of lockdowns, quarantines and seeing death all around especially on TV, they shall battle to get the shot as soon as possible, without need to invest in all that massive marketing. Would be better to spend the money in paying frontline workers or buying hospital equipment.

Hi Sonia, you are right that it is good that people can choose to get it or not and that this is far better when supply would exceed demand- which unfortunately is not the case at the moment. I think in some instances the system is more flexible than in others dealing with left-overs. But what bothers me with older people refusing Astra is that it looks like the severe side effects are much more common among younger cohorts and this is where I do not fully understand people refusing to get Astra to wait until they get Pfizer for instance.

Especially since the rest of us got locked in/had our lives and fundamental liberties hijacked supposedly to protect the vulnerable. Most of whom are older. I’m temted to say that if people want to take risks with their own lives by being picky with vaccines in the current situation, that is perfectly fine. As long as they then agree exclude themselves from the right to healthcare for having contracted covid. This is written in affect, so I am not sure that the reasoning holds up to scrutiny/ haven’t thought it through properly.

You are right. For the older, getting vaccinated fast is a good way to give back some of the solidarity received by the young being cooped up.

But hey, if I can add a light-hearted note, “Boomers got the vax”. :rofl: