“Handling the Covid-19 coronavirus situation seems to be one of the biggest challenges of our post-’89 new world – but also a possibility to rethink and recalibrate European co-operation and maybe the entire European project. The end of a period and hopefully the beginning of another one.
The ruling by decree in a war-style fashion sounds heroic and gives evidence to citizens about their respective states’ social responsibility, and unquestionable dedication to the public good. No one can deny the importance of a firm stand on the part of public authorities in emergency situations. Fighting an unknown virus, however, effectively and with lasting results, cannot be managed by national armies. Especially not when the health services are unprepared unequipped and improperly financed; when nurses and doctors are forced to treat patients without masks or proper protective equipment and are themselves infected and so become distributors and not exterminators of the pandemic. Soldiers in uniforms and in armored vehicles might be needed to hold back potential upheavals and to guarantee basic services and supplies, but they cannot detect the whereabout of viruses or stop an unforeseeable and non-visible spread or prevent the next wave or next generation of viral attack. Neither can stop the return of business-as-usual which is going to happen the first possible moment the pandemics relax only to come back.”