Antoni Puigverd – 08/07/2020
Josep Corbella, our scientific journalist, a formidable popularizer of science and medicine, wrote one of the most striking political columns on Monday about the inconsistency of the current Government of the Generalitat. Without making ideological judgments, based only on the recommendations of the WHO, Corbella demonstrated that the Segrià outbreak is not attributable to incivism, but to the unpredictability of the Govern.
The Govern has committed two clamorous irresponsibilities. First: Catalonia lacks technical direction against Covid. The position of secretary of the Public Health Agency is vacant, despite the fact that the first of the functions that would correspond to it is “to establish the guidelines and priorities in public health (…) and to coordinate and supervise its implementation and execution”. In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, the Generalitat lacks epidemiological leadership. Why did the president claim the Health powers? To show that we are a country of fans?
It could be said that the objective of the Catalan Government is to beat the record of incompetence.
The second resounding failure is that of not taking into account the presence of temporary fruit workers (an old problem to which the Administration has never been able to respond). The coronavirus does not respect borders and in a few months it has colonized the world. Did the Govern believe that, before infecting African seasonal workers, SARS-CoV-2 would ask them if they had a health card?
Detection, monitoring, isolation and quarantine. This is the role of governments according to the WHO. If the Government of Spain already presents horrible results, with more infected and more deaths (6,096 and 580 per million) than Great Britain and Italy, the Catalan Government could not bear the Spanish leadership and intends to get Catalonia to break the record. Laugh to not cry. Are we aware of the costs that the Lleida outbreak will have? What are we talking about when we talk about politics? Just from agitation, abstractions and chimeras? We have lived horrible months. Collapsed hospitals, sick in abundance, dead. The economy has collapsed, the part of the tourist season that can still be saved depends on the civic responsibility of each one of us, yes, but above all on the comprehensive strategy that the WHO demands from governments. It would seem that the objective of the Govern is to beat the record of incompetence.
President Torra, a lover of literature from the 1930s, would do well to reread a harsh tale by Salvador Espriu, The Moribund Country. Sitting in the port, the country laments. The narrator and a poet try to cheer him up by praise. There is no better country, they insist: you have won a world cretinism contest. Live! But the country is drowning and nobody gets wet to save it. The next day, everyone celebrates it. “We even have a country that is dying!”
Espriu wanted to save the words, but he would not have supported this demonstration of ineptitude, this spectacular dissonance between what is said and what is done. Between independence rhetoric and provincial practice.