A terrace on the Rambla Catalunya in Barcelona yesterday after the announcement. / PERE VIRGILI
Things are not being done well. Community transmission is a fact. It is not reassuring that the health authorities recommend that you avoid leaving the house. The monitoring of positive cases has not worked, they are spreading throughout different parts of the country, especially in the Lleida area and in the Barcelona metropolitan area. As stated in ARA, the epidemiologist Benito Almirante, head of the Infectious Diseases Service of the Vall d’Hebron, after “three or four weeks of self-management, we are worse than in all of Spain”. Almirante himself says that the situation is far from being as critical as it was a few months ago – in hospitals there is no avalanche of income and there are few ICU admissions – but the fact of not being able to stop the extension of Virus in an area that affects 2.7 million citizens is a failure.
It was assumed that the first crisis had been learned and that the resources, professionals and mechanisms had been put in place to avoid a reissue. Well, no. In the end, it was necessary to take measures to stop mobility and social life again, obligations and recommendations that have a serious effect on people’s daily lives and on the economy. In the middle of summer vacations, when tourism was just beginning to recover timidly, and with the citizens psychologically exhausted by the long confinement of spring, the new restrictions have fallen like a jug of cold water. The business fabric – not just the tourist or the cultural one – has received the news with discomfort: this second stop can be a fatal blow to many businesses. And in the healthcare environment, clearer political leadership, better communication of measures, calmer decision-making and validated by experts are called for.
Sooner than later we will have to start asking for political responsibilities. Can a politically divided government in two halves manage with guarantees a health crisis with social and economic consequences as serious as the one we are experiencing? Right now it is a no-brainer that here as in everything, it has surely accelerated too much with the lack of confidence and that the change has been too slow. And it is also painfully obvious the unpredictability and improvisation with which the outbreaks of Segrià and L’Hospitalet de Llobregat have faced. The comparative data with the rest of the State speaks for itself: Catalonia is doing poorly. We have a management problem. It has been ineffective, not effective at all. If in the initial stage of the crisis the chaos was supplemented by the selfless dedication of many professionals in the hospitals and in the public medical centers CAPs, at this stage, when it was the leadership of the administration to organize the tracking of the Covid-19, the results did not have accompanied.
This does not mean that citizens, all of us, do not have the obligation to follow the instructions of the public authorities. Again, only with the collaboration of everyone can we stop the virus from progressing. But at the same time we have the right and the obligation to demand good and diligent management. We cannot resign ourselves to seeing how each outbreak leads to the paralysis of half a country.