[imagesource: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty]
Something that all dictators seem to have in common is an unfailing belief that everything they believe and do is right.
Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko is a classic example of what can go wrong when someone is left unchecked to rule a country with an iron fist.
While the rest of the world is doing everything possible to fight off COVID-19, it’s business as usual in Belarus.
In fact, it’s more than business as usual – it’s a potentially deadly perfect storm of everything that the virus needs to flourish.
I’ll let Sky News break it down for you.
Few measures have been enforced to curb coronavirus in Belarus – instead, people are being urged to drink vodka and go to saunas.
The country – specifically its president – has shrugged off concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak, starkly illustrated on Sunday with the nation’s football matches continuing as normal
Yep, vodka (when not working) and saunas, which should, according to Lukashenko, be visited twice a week for optimal health.
This is bringing back unpleasant memories of Manto Tshabalala-Msimang and her campaign to treat HIV with lemons, garlic, and olive oil.
To further exacerbate the situation, Belarusians football fans showed up en masse to cheer on their favourite teams. Some of them wore masks, but as we know from real reports about coronavirus preventative measures, a mask is not a foolproof way to stave off the virus.
The sporting fun continued with ice hockey.
Lukashenko took part in an ice hockey match on Saturday – controversially declaring that sport “is the best anti-virus remedy”.
At the event, he told a reporter: “It’s better to die standing on your feet than to live on your knees.”
When asked if there was anything that could stop him from playing ice hockey he said this:
“It is possible, but why? I don’t understand. There are no viruses here.
“Did you see any of them flying around? I don’t see them too. This is a fridge.”
That’s not how viruses work.
Lukashenko isn’t alone in taking the so-called ‘strong man’ approach to COVID-19, reports The Washington Post.
Several other populist leaders have pooh-poohed the novel coronavirus, including President Trump, who initially said the outbreak in the United States was “very much under control.”
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro called it a media fantasy and “a little flu,” claiming that Brazilians could jump into sewers and not get sick.
Even before the coronavirus, jumping in a sewer wasn’t a good idea.
Lukashenko is a big fan of Donald Trump and approves of his approach. America should be very, very concerned.
The Johns Hopkins map records, at the time of writing, 163 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Belarus and one death.
Unfortunately, all evidence points to those numbers rising, if the president doesn’t get his act together.
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