On a recent weekend, about 2,500 vaccine opponents gathered on the Letná plain in Prague to protest the current Covid restrictions. There were also the usual stands of several parties and movements “for the unthinking” – Tricolor, Freedom, Manifesto, and others. And, of course, there was also a beer stall with a queue of tens of meters long, despite the fact that current law bans the drinking of alcohol in public, as part of the anti-Covid measures.
Everything was calmly overseen by our Police of the Czech Republic, who from time to time , warned participants to keep their distance from each other. In return, the participants mocked and laughed at them. One speaker after another jumped to the microphone and espoused the usual litany of how the state is taking away our freedom, that we were approaching fascism, and so on.
Everyone has the right to express their opinion. But as citizens, we have a right to expect that if we approve of something through our parliament and government and it becomes legal, that (our) state has a role to enforce it. But as a result of Covid, we have degenerated into a nation of cowards on the one hand, and selfish people on the other. Our government that refuses to act vigorously and enforce its own laws, and the police, which refuse to abide by laws or ordinances and punish the minority that intentionally violates everything, while the rest abide. And the selfish, the minority of people like those in Letná, have usurped the word “freedom” and within the framework of cultivated hysteria, ignorance and frustration, have transformed it to mean not freedom in the broadest sense of the word, but only in their own interpretation of “being able to do anything I want”.
Such opinions are not rare, nor unique. They are the product of a combination of ignorance, fear, media manipulation, hype and hysteria. However, in their essence, their expression belies underlying selfishness. The opponents of vaccines don’t care if they get infected and transmit the infection to others. It’s not about the others, it’s only about them. They don’t care that they, or those they infect, will occupy a hospital bed and thus deny that bed to someone, who is suffering from a different illness, one that could not have been prevented by vaccination. That’s what citizens at Letná and other vehement opponents of vaccination are all about. Their problem is, that it’s all about their freedom, and not about any sort of social participation or responsibility insofar as the proven positive effects of vaccination are concerned. The fact that all of them (and us) carry antibodies from at least six different compulsory childhood vaccinations, and that they vaccinate their children as well, doesn’t seem to have registered with them at all.
The problem with such an attitude is, that such people don’t live in isolation on a nice little small island in the middle of an uncharted part of the Pacific Ocean, where they can freely exercise their “freedom” on a tiny beach without another human footprint. Unfortunately, the reality is, that we all have to live side by side.
Friends from Letná, you do have the right to your selfishness. But you have no right to get drunk in public. You have no right to associate in a crowd. This kind of behavior endangers us all. But it’s an even greater pity, that we have a cow-towing government, which is capable of noting more than issuing barrages of idiotic and senseless measures, in an effort to satisfy everyone, instead of introducing a blanket “no” to lawbreakers and (finally) making vaccination compulsory for all age groups. At the same time, the police do nothing to enforce any ordinances. And again, we have the rest of the nation, which, as always, remains immersed in the ingrained Czech hat of alibism, shrugging shoulders at everything, including the government, police, and those who endanger our lives in the name of personal freedom.
Published on 1.12.2021 www.mfdnes.cz
published: 20. 12. 2021