Prime Minister of Covid hysteria Krišjānis Kariņš threatens severe penalties for minimal violations
He explained: "I am pushing for us to reduce state regulation, put more responsibility on individuals and on ensuring that the state requirements are respected."
Kariņš pointed out that we do not have many Covid-19 restrictions at the moment, but when implementing them, we should ensure that the rules are actually observed.
On September 21, the government conceptually agreed on Covid restriction rules, and, as Kariņš said, "nothing would change for people vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19, the only inconvenience would be that, for example, they would have to find their Covid-19 certificate before entering the supermarket."
The government is also still ready to determine the professions where vaccination against Covid-19 would be obligatory. No minister has spoken out against this approach.
The government is expected to adopt a new package of Covid restrictions this week. But that is not enough for Kariņš. There is also a need to strengthen all forms of control in all places and areas and to punish all offenders severely, so that wearing a mask is as inevitable as death. Presumably, at some moment, the government will also decide that the current fines are too small, and will add an extra zero to the fines.
So, the current course of power to ever-increasing pressure will continue and even increase. You have to pay more for everything - for heat, electricity, food, for late payments. Now also for not wearing a mask or wearing it incorrectly. Penalties will also apply to those who violate self-isolation and quarantine, so people who are doing business abroad will have to hide the fact of crossing the border by leaving their phones at home. But they will still be caught and sucked dry by law enforcement.
There will also be severe penalties for shopkeepers and food establishments if they allow an unvaccinated person to sneak in between the vaccinated.
Kariņš's anger falling over the heads of the violators looks quite fictional because it is not like mass violations of the Covid rules are taking place at the moment. Well, maybe somewhere a citizen forgets to put on a mask and rides two stops on a trolleybus without it. Stores strictly count visitors so that no more people enter than allowed. Certificates are required indoors for cafes and restaurants, as well as for competitions and concerts. Where are all these terrible violations? Is it not the case that Kariņš is imagining them and fighting against non-existent enemies?
"Our goal is to get people to choose a free, easy, fast, effective measure - vaccination," Kariņš emphasized.
Be that as it may. However, it seems that this goal is being pursued at all costs, even with repressive methods.
Is it not the case that vaccination has become the biggest priority, but the health of the population has disappeared somewhere into the background as a problem to be solved in the future, as less important? The scope of vaccination has become a kind of political-religious altar.
This vaccination coverage would currently be 20% higher if vaccination was started on time, if there would be no fooling around with establishing the Vaccination Project Bureau, if money would not be squandered on dumb advertisements, if there would be no constant intimidation and ordered medical predictions of an imminent mega-outbreak of the disease, which then does not materialize. The government has done everything in its power to make the vaccination coverage the way it is. But it is the way it is.
Latvian authorities are not alone in their propensity for punishment and repression, and Kariņš's government is inspired by the fact that there are harsh penalties for Covid violations in Western countries as well. Bad examples are not always good examples. There are even countries where Covid offenders are put in prison for a while. Kariņš is ready to cheat off them.
One might get the impression that the Prime Minister is deliberately asking to be cursed, to be laughed at. But there the calculation is simple. Those who curse the government can easily be called anti-vaxxers and be counted among the fools who fear the 5G towers and think that they will be chipped with the vaccines. There are many different people in society with different thoughts. There are various information bubbles. There is also a part of people who are extremely angry at the unvaccinated and for whom Kariņš seems even too soft - they would like to stone the unvaccinated like in Sharia law. The pandemic has severely eroded the psyche of society and divided it. And there are opposite extremes - there is both an absolute denial of vaccination and hostile Covid hysteria. Thus, Kariņš has supporters on the hypochondriac side of the spectrum, and he will quite successfully work with this electorate by putting on the cloak of a superman - the main Covid-defeater or the main Covid-fighter - before the Saeima elections. Let's ignore that at the expense of the Covid, those close to the power have inhaled huge sums of money and will keep doing that. This has gone unnoticed in some information bubbles, and if it is noticed, then it is not considered reprehensible.
The only thing we can hope for is that this year there may be fewer absurd, chaotic, even crippling decisions than last autumn and winter. All we can do is hope.