How We Wash Our Hands: When Epidemic Trumps Our Rights

"Laughing Fool" ca. 1500 // Public Domain

Do you know how to do it? You know, a corpulent guy, that politician or whomever, demonstrated it on TV. Just turn the tap on. No, don’t worry, they promised us they are reducing the water price. They even took over that company that billed us. Now it’s in the national hands, or maybe it’s ours, I didn’t quite get it, but they promised it is good for us.

The water needs to be a bit hotter. The energy is also ours. Also, they promised it’s clean, and that the Russians we signed the contract with are powerful enough to make it so. Why else would we have made friends with them? They must have changed if our ardently anti-Soviet leaders are their close friends now, right?

Now, to the soap. Nice and frothy. Made locally, yes. No evil multinationals. Well, made in China, yes, but locally sent to China to be made.

No, it’s not the Chinese government’s fault. Somebody ate a bat or something, but the government is powerful enough that they shut everything down, and monitored the lives of everyone closely so we are safe. Also they are building us railroads.

Now see, here, right next to the label “made in China”, here is our country’s flag. It shows that it’s real quality. Why else would it cost more than the cheap imports?

It doesn’t matter what our country is called. Republic or not, it’s just a name. We are in Europe. We also hate the decadent Europe, so it is a bit unclear, but… hey, use more soap! Our good local soap will kill all the foreign germs

No, I don’t care, you have to work. Home office? What is that? No, the internet is full of holier than thou liberals. Don’t use it. I’ve never learned how to and see how well I turned out.

No, don’t worry, the government promised it will give you money if your business fails. Also, you can get more loans. Yes, they regulated the banks. If the situation gets worse, you won’t have to repay it.

No, don’t worry. In the worst-case scenario the evil banks will shut down, and that nice friend of the prime minister will buy them, and make everything okay.

Now squirt a bit more soap and rinse between your fingers. No, silly, of course it’s not true what those doctors and nurses say. They are agitators of foreign powers, financed by the evil capitalists. Our hospitals are the best in the world. We have enough equipment.

Who do you think you should believe? Those doctors who just work there and know nothing except for medicine, or the politicians who have to manage the whole country, hospitals included? See, our government will protect you.

A bit longer than that. Even under your nails. Don’t go around saying things like that. Of course, they take care of you. Those agitators who claim otherwise will go to jail.

It’s just been anounced that the government will extend its powers, no need for that stupid parliament with all its bickering. Finally, all those critics will be locked up. All those foreign agents who are in the opposition won’t meddle anymore.

The government can truly protect us now. They can give us all the free money we deserve. No, I don’t know where it comes from, it is the government, silly, they just have it. Thank God they have all this power to stop the virus. Like the Chinese.

Don’t be such a snowflake, civic liberites are just stupid ideas decadent Westerners want to fill your pretty little head with. Rub your hands together like that. Good. That’s the way that nice corpulent politician showed us on TV. Yes, they deserve all the power.

I don’t know for how long. As long as it’s necessary, I guess. They know best.

Now shut up and keep washing your hands.

Written by a citizen of a “fictional” European state.

Mate Hajba
Free Market Foundation