“Lie about everything and at all levels. Let’s take Covid as an example…”
The infectious disease doctor answered Kochanova.
“We won’t have a dialogue on the streets — warn them,” Natalya Kochanova, the speaker of the upper house of parliament, said addressing medical workers who participated in protests. Nikita Solovey, the chief freelance specialist of the Health Committee of Minsk Executive Committee on infectious and parasitic diseases, associate professor of the Department of Infectious Diseases of the Belarusian State Medical University, responded to Kochanova’s comment on his Facebook page. Below is his full post.
“Mrs. Kochanova, I hope I’m addressing you the right way, as slaves would address you? Why slaves? Well, this is how government officials and administration treat doctors these days. You say we’re obliged to treat patients, but we cannot express our political views, cannot protect our illegally detained colleagues, and cannot just stand near our hospitals on weekends while being off work. For all of the above, we have to be beaten up and put in prisons. We have responsibilities, but no legal rights. So you have started talking about having a dialogue, but not on the streets. Well, Facebook is a great platform to have one.
Here is what I and my colleagues are not happy about these days:
1. Endless violence by law enforcement against civil citizens, beatings, shootings, tortures, rapes of the best of our people. This is exactly the reason why so many doctors, athletes, cultural people, university teachers, IT specialists, workers, and representatives of many other professions are going on the streets to express their opinions. Starting from March we have been spending days and nights in hospitals, helping patients with COVID-19, wearing PPE all the time, vacating COVID beds to provide specialized care, and in the end, all efforts were useless as we helping hundreds suffered from your accomplices. They had injuries that most doctors saw only in textbooks. We demanded, demand, and continue to demand the end to all the violence. Those who are responsible for all of this should be prosecuted by the law according to the constitutional country’s law as you call it.
2. Simulated elections. Yes, this time 80% vote falsification did not work. People became smarter, more active, and more creative. There are independent online platforms now with over a million members, white ribbons, bulletins folder in a special way. All of this has demonstrated that you had clearly lost the election. If you had even a little bit of conscience and honor, you would have peacefully left long-struggling Belarus to give it a chance to finally become a developed country and not a derelict one. But that was not enough. You have no conscience and no honor either. You have decided, as always, to spit in people’s faces. You think we’re slaves, you thought we will forget everything the next day. No,! We haven’t forgotten. And we will not forget. And new elections will definitely be coming soon.
3. Lie about everything and at all levels. Let us at least talk about an urgent issue, COVID. How long will you keep lying to us about it and saying we have a little over a thousand cases daily? Well, this is for sure an achievement that recently you officially admit the number being over a 1,000 cases a day. Maybe you can finally declaire real mortality numbers? I can’t explain to the relatives of people who passed away how is it possible that only 4 people in Belarus die from COVID, and “your dad is among them, probably because he was treated well enough…” No, gentlemen, in reality he’s been receiving the best treatment. Otherwise, there would be twice more cases and twice more deaths. Even in the best hospitals in the world, the lowest mortality rates (of COVID-19 patients) in intensive care are 16–20%, on average about 40%, and can even reach 60%.
Even a school kid can do the math and multiply the number of intensive care beds occupied by patients with COVID by the percentage of mortality … I would also like to remind you of dozens of junior and senior paramedical workers and doctors who died from COVID-19 while helping others. For the entire period of the pandemic since March, there was no time to somehow perpetuate their memory, at least in the form of a memorial list on the website of the Ministry of Health.
4. Expelling students from medical and other universities. What’s happening today at the Belarusian State Medican University can become a story in the best stand up show. Many of the expelled students still cannot understand their status, receive an extract or an order for exclusion. Teachers keep telling stories that students were expelled for discipline violations, not for expressing their political views or not because someone somewhere on TV said that these students should not be in universities. But that’s where they belong. Because our best students have been expelled, with good academic records, with great initiative, striving to change the future of the country for the better. One thing makes me happy though. These students will return to their universities very soon. The same cannot be said about the leadership of the universities, shamefully staining themselves with participation in the repressions. They will have to look for another job.
5. Detentions, beatings, arrests, dismissals of our colleagues. Many of them have been working morning to night for months during COVID-19, risking their lives. We can hold republican councils at Okrestina street detention center now, they have the best specialists there with the highest categories, degrees, and titles. Here’s where you have missed out. You have tried too hard to strangle everyone. But there is a silver lining. Historically medical field had problems solidarity, but now it is gaining strength, medical groups and entire institutions are united. Supporting video messages come from thousands of health workers who sign appeals and petitions. Now, even the most apolitical healthcare specialists have understood the true “value” of the government, they have seen what kind of “gratitude” they can expect for their work, they understood the vital need to fight for their own rights and freedom. So you have also failed with trying to make people slaves.
I have tried to be honest and, I hope, clearly stated the position of mine and most of my colleagues. If you can respond, we’ll be happy to hear what you have to say. But precisely, point by point and no fairy-tales. We had enough of it over the last 26 years. And commenting on “there will be no dialogue on the streets …“ The dialogue, Natalya Ivanovna, will be wherever people of Belarus will want it ”.