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World’s Worst COVID Death Rate Throws Czechs Into Cold War Misery

GettyLITOMICE, Czech Republic A blue light flashing through the bedroom windows has become a feature of the nights. This is Litomice, a city in the north of the Czech Republic. The light comes from another ambulance that climbs the access road that leads from the dark, deserted town to a hospital perched on a hill. On board, there will likely be another COVID-19 patient. It is the country with the highest COVID death rate in the world and is experiencing a new wave of infections. Doctor Kateina Steinbachov lives next to Litomice hospital in a medical residence. A year ago, this hospital was chosen to be one of the special COVID units for the northern part of the country. Ironically, ambulance traffic is the only sign of life during these desperate pandemic nights. My parents told me the outside world looks like evenings under the Communist dictatorship, says the 31-year-old doctor. businesses closed early, there were no flashing neon signs at night, and people preferred to stay home alone rather than walk around. Boredom, anxiety and feelings of abandonment then suffocated the cities. Last year the series of restrictions, bans, curfews and lockdowns brought back these unfortunate memories for many Czechs. Many of my older patients fell into depression, saying the environment reminds them of now the era of communist normalization. They feel like they are engulfed in gray, says psychotherapist Tom Rektor, who refers to the 1970s after the so-called Prague Spring, when Soviet tanks sent from Moscow brutally crushed the Czechoslovak rebellion against the regime. Communist. The bloodshed put the Communist extremists back in charge. They subsequently ruled the country with a mixture of bureaucratic overthrow and violent repression. Aside from the similarity in the way things look, it is the communist social heritage that has emerged in our day. The mentality of many Czechs was formed during the dictatorship, which ended in 1989 after 42 years, when the current generation of Czechs over 50 were in their prime. According to analysts, this has contributed significantly to the current health crisis. The Czech Republics’ COVID death rate per 100,000 remains the highest in the European Union, as does the daily number of people infected. Dozens of hospitals are on the verge of collapse, many of them unable to receive critically ill patients due to lack of intensive care beds and medical staff. in need. It has become so critical that the Czech government has asked Germany, Switzerland and Poland to take in dozens of patients to help these overwhelmed hospitals.The current crisis is particularly mind-blowing as the Czech Republic has successfully crushed the virus in the first wave of spring 2020. Czechs looked with horror on Italy, their favorite holiday destination, ravaged by the coronavirus. While hundreds of Italians died every day, in the Czech Republic the daily death toll in the first three months of the pandemic never exceeded 10. There were even days when no one died. The COVID-19 pandemic served as a big test for this young democracy, and many believe that after the initial triumph over the virus, the Czechs failed big. There is always the feeling that people expect government to solve their problems rather than taking personal responsibility. Since the fall of communism, we have not yet learned to live in freedom. We haven’t developed a sense of personal responsibility. We prefer to delegate it to someone else. In this government affair, said sociologist Jiina Iklov, who was a close ally of the late President Vclav Havel. She came from the same dissident circle as Havel, and she was good friends with the first freely elected head of state after the totalitarian regime ended.In times of crisis like the COVID pandemic, this rebellious attitude is unlikely to get you. serve well if the government proves incompetent. And the Czech government, under the leadership of the controversial current Prime Minister Andrej Babi, has a long history of failed decisions and botched strategies to deal with the COVID threat. blunders in a recent speech. Specifically, he said it was a bad decision to allow businesses to reopen for the Christmas season and that the summer relaxation of warrant-bearing masks was bad. He also admitted that his government had underestimated the UK variant of the virus. The local Litomicre hospital is the recipient of these missteps and mistakes. It is teeming with COVID patients who have been infected with the dangerous British mutation, and my colleagues in COVID units are exhausted. They have been there for a year and in recent months have had to endure war situations, says Dr Steinbachov. Many hospitals are so understaffed that they desperately continue to ask for volunteers with little or no experience. . Some even employ soldiers and firefighters. In addition to these extreme circumstances, many doctors and nurses have been infected and, according to government figures, are among the professionals hardest hit in terms of COVID contagion. At the end of February of this year, Prime Minister Babi declared March to be hellish. The statistics proved him right. The hospitalization rate, the number of seriously ill and currently infected people are at record levels. And this country of 10.7 million people is quickly approaching 27,000 deaths from COVID-19. Globally, the Czech Republic ranks first in the number of deaths per 100,000 population. Pavel ek, former director of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, said the Czech population was forced to a period of self-examination as the need The response to the pandemic offered echoes of their autocratic past: the democracies developed at the start of the pandemic could not mitigate the spread of the virus because their populations were not used to being told what to do and many have defied the restrictions, said ek. Autocratic regimes were more successful in enforcing the rules, but took advantage of the situation to attack dissidents. on the other hand, there is still a large part of the population demanding more intervention. ek fears that people will forget what they have learned since the end of the cold war. I fear that in the post era -COVID, quite a few Czechs I want the government to continue helping them, said ek, and the country will turn to socialism again. Register now! 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