Switzerland is often seen as a paradise, where everything is supposed to be working well. However, in this period, the situation is dramatic or even desperate in some cases, even if here they are quite good in “hiding the dust or uncomfortable matters under the carpet…”.
In particular, the government and the cantons made and are still guiltily making a lot of mistakes, getting a lot of critics from all over the world. Just to try to save economics (Even if a lot of people have been already “silently” and quickly fired from many Companies), health is considered as a second priority, with preventive measures against COVID-19 which are too weak and, considering the infection numbers, clearly ineffective.
The “Tages Anzeiger”, the daily newspaper from Zurich and one of the most important in Switzerland, analysed what foreign press thinks of the Swiss way to fight the COVID-19 emergency. Here the most significant quotes.
“Switzerland is still thinking of being a particular case…” (Foreign Policy, USA)
“It has been returned too quickly to the politics of the small cantons…” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, DE, regarding the continuous passing the buck regarding the responsibilities to define what to do between the central federal State and the 26 cantons)
“Switzerland is the second Sweden…” (Welt, DE)
“Why the government continues to be reluctant to take severe decisions?…” (Süddeutsche Zeitung, DE)
“A risky strategy…” (Financial Time, UK).
“A perfect example of what Germany should not do…” (Karl Lauterbach, German socialist politician and professor of health economics and epidemiology at the University of Cologne)
“…more testimonials tell about a Swiss weak approach, for a long time, with superficial preventive measures in the Companies, protocols which were not complied with, basically about a situation which created COVID carriers” (Corriere della Sera IT, regarding the dramatic increase of infections and quarantines in a small city, Arcisate, near the border with Switzerland).
It is crazy to see the passivity and lack of vision of the Swiss government which, in front of a continuous increase of infections, hospitalisations and deaths, almost every day holds monotonous and boring press conferences, only to acknowledge the situation with no gut and no flexibility to change the route inside this terribly disruptive storm!
It is not fair to criticise government decisions during an emergency, but if these decisions directly contributed to spread the Coronavirus infections, causing a lot of deaths, then I think they should be denounced. Hopefully that everything can work as a lesson learned.
The Swiss government, the Swiss perfect application of the federal state which gives full powers to the Cantons regarding the public health, the slowness of the Swiss politicians, and the absence of humility to learn from other countries are dramatically and very quickly dragging Switzerland into a new severe COVID-19 emergency, putting this small Country very low in the ranking of the efficiency of the implemented measures to combat COVID-19!
Here some macroscopic evidences and unforgivable Swiss mistakes since the start of the pandemic.
1) During the “first wave” of the contagion, started also in Switzerland at the very end of February 2020, the main consultant of the federal government and communicator on COVID-19 matters was a certain Dr Daniel Koch, so-called “Mr Corona”, head of the department of infectious diseases of the Federal Office for Public Health. In some interviews, he started minimising the pandemic, “showing off” his very past experiences in Africa during the Ebola outbreak, and adopting the still disgusting comparison between COVID-19 and the “usual” flue. He never warned about the use of protective masks; on the contrary he always said that the social distancing would have been enough, even on the public transportation, to avoid any contagion! According to Dr Koch, masks would have given the people a fake feeling of safety. When Dr Koch was calmly spitting his “truths”, all the world, including (even if late) WHO, already recognised the importance of adopting protective masks to control the diffusion of possible infections.
Dr Koch retired in April and stopped brainwashing the Swiss population, who was never really taking into account the possibility of using masks indoor, only relying on hygiene and the 1.5 meter distance. Distance which, by the way, very few were really keeping, misunderstanding the “common” maximum 50 cm with the minimum 1.5 meter! However Dr Koch left no real successor as single point of communication and expertise, leaving the health minister quite alone.
2) Switzerland introduced the mask obligation, on the public transportation only, on the 6th July 2020, i.e. more than 4 months after the start of the emergency! A scandalous delay!
3) Even if some cantons obliged the use of masks indoor, some others never imposed this measure, despite the exponentially increasing number of infections. Unacceptable!
4) Finally, with a guilty and unforgivable delay, the Swiss federal government obliged the use of masks indoor (public places, stations, bus stops, airports, …) only on the 19th October 2020, 7 months after the start of the COVID-19 “hell”! Unbelievable!
5) After having reported increasing new infections every day for the last two weeks, last Friday, 23rd October, Switzerland hit 6’634 new infections in one day. Considering that Switzerland has a population of slightly more than 8’500’000 inhabitants, you can calculate what this number would mean in your own country…
6) Although the infection numbers are increasing exponentially in the last weeks, after obliging the use of protective masks, the health minister, Alain Berset, and the government are hesitating to define new more severe rules to try to contain and reduce the number of infections. The health minister promised new measures but not before next Wednesday, 28th October. Why? Because he has to agree these measures with the cantons (and probably with his government mates…).
When the emergency can put the health of the population at risk, the actions shall be severe and quick and not just politically aimed at not changing the daily routine of the population! Why not “motivating” the respect of the rules by introducing significant fines for not following them, to eventually finance the most penalised working categories in this emergency?
One of the worldwide actions to fight COVID-19 is (still) the social distancing.
In Switzerland they have been proud for long time having set 2m as distance everyone has to keep from the others to protect himself/herself and the others.
This 2m “mantra” is more than the Italian 1m, or the German 1.5m or the vague “according to the common sense” prescribed in Sweden and France. And the Swiss are very happy for this.
But the fact is that very very very very few people respect the 2m distance in the Confederation (maybe no one knows how does a 2m separation look like?): the distance often becomes 20cm as a practical rule here!
But the most of the people is very keen and honored, unfortunately, on not wearing protective masks! Even the government was and still is very foggy regarding the use of masks! Just 6% of the people use masks on the public transportation!
20 actual cm and 6%! These are the numbers that, for me, confirm the fact that the low COVID-19 infection cases in Switzerland at the moment is just due to luck…
The result is clear: with 64.8% “yes”, the voting people in Argovia has accepted the strengthening of the procedure to get the Swiss nationality in this Canton.
Argovia succeeds in making the hurdles to become Swiss higher than in the most of the other cantons. Who wants to get the Swiss pass shall not have got any social assistance in the last ten years. In the other cantons the minimal requirements are not so strict. An applicant shall not have got any social assistance in the last three years and shall not be dependent on social assistance during the application for the Swiss nationality.
If you wish to become Swiss in Argovia, do not lose your job, otherwise it will be a long(er) way!!
On February 9th, in Switzerland a new referendum, pride of the direct Helvetian democracy, will take place.
Two questions… plus one additional, only in Canton Argovia. The Argovian proposal wants to increase from three to ten years the minimum possible period without receiving benefits from the social assistance (i.e. without unemployment) to be able to apply for the Swiss citizenship.
This strict requirement is even overruling the federal laws which currently accept three years only.
Why? They say that only in that way the possible applicants for the Swiss passport would really prove their “Swissness”. In a country where jobs are quite flexible and the possibility to fire a worker does not require particular justifications, the Argovian statement is quite… disputable!
My blog is titled “Real Swiss – A Foreigner in Switzerland”.
Today I received a quite important letter. It announced that, after nearly two years from the official application, together with my family, I have become Swiss!
“Der Grosse Rat” of Canton Argovia took the topic decision!
And in one month, after all the administrative procedures are complete, we will be able to apply for the ID and the passport of the Confederation!
We will be pleased, as the letter encourages, to participate in the Swiss political life!
From now on: Absolutely Real Swiss and no longer (or not too much) foreigner in Switzerland!
Picture from: svp.ch / Yes to direct democracy. Yes to self-determination.
Picture from: sbi-nein.ch / No to the self-circumcision/determination initiative.
On the 25th of November, in Switzerland, a referendum is planned on the so-called “self-determination”.
If the “yes” wins, the Swiss Constitution should prevail again on the international treatises (Especially with the European Union), which sometimes relegate the former in the background.
In short: Switzerland über Alles!
Some newspapers, like the Italian “Corriere della Sera”, start speaking of a possible Swiss Brexit.
I think that there should not be any alarm or fear for a possible, frightened “Swissexit”!
– First of all: Switzerland is not in Europe, and is very keen to stay out of it.
– Second: Swiss people, always careful with their wallets, would experience negative consequences if a lot of international treatises with Europe (main area for the export of the so-called “Swiss Quality”) are suspended.
– Third: why should Switzerland lose the acquired economical advantages (regarding trades with Europe) and even from its privileged position of not having to satisfy the duties as the EU member countries?
On the coming 25th November, the citizens of Switzerland shall vote on some referendum questions. In addition to some serious subjects, there is one which is really strange!
It relates to the so-called “Initiative for the cows with horns” and encourages the farmers to keep horns to their cows and sheep, instead of cutting them (as it happens nowadays on 3 cases out of 4).
Points in favour of “yes”: The animals would feel better with their horns, but, because of that, they would occupy more space; therefore the State should give some financial support to the farmers owning “horned” cows!
Point in favour of “no”: The animals with horns should be kept tied, and they would have a higher risk to injury themselves.
Switzerland holds the first places in all statistics dealing with quality of life… Maybe even the cows’ one is taken into account!
Another bloody week has finished.
And here “bloody” has unfortunately its actual meaning. Europe, Stockholm this time, was attacked again by a vile terrorist who killed some people and made a mess just in the name of the Islamic State!
This is not acceptable! Everywhere everyone has an opinion… thousands of discussions are spreading around.
One of the main problems for me is how these people (the terrorists) are brainwashed, being convinced that doing what they are doing can allow them to reach a holy level and even the highest possible paradise. And of course the problem is how some presumed Imams dare to cause all this.
But here it’s Switzerland, and yesterday was a sunny warm day in Zurich, ideal for a nice walk in the city centre.
This is not about terrorism, but an incredible clever occurrence which I would like to share with you.
While reaching the station to go back home, we suddenly saw a small group of “sandwich” people, which were not advertising a great holiday, or a tasty snack or a smart magazine.
They were just wearing a vest saying “Free Koran”!
I was astonished at first. I have never seen something like this in a “western” city and I found this is one of the best answers to the bloody terrorists and all those who are supporting them.
The only way to learn that Islam can also be peaceful, friendly, civil and modern (as the real Muslims, not the fanatic, say!) is to know what it says.
That’s why I got a copy of the Koran, even in Italian, my mother tongue!
I am not Muslim, but catholic, however I will read this book and finally learn… who and what is right!
And, as usual, I was again astonished by the Confederation!
Switzerland: for sure a strict country where immigrants are not always welcome everywhere, but where the foreigners are so many and so different that every opinion is accepted and tolerated.