The whole world was caught unprepared for the pandemic. Although the first case in Turkey was announced on March 11, 2020, it is certain that there were cases that had not been diagnosed before. Until March, there was some knowledge about the pandemic in the world. We could have taken advantage of this and taken early action, but we couldn’t.
As there have been many examples in the past, the political establishment chose the populist approach, ignoring science this time. In fact, a success story could have been written in our country, where the honor of writing an epic is loved and used more than necessary by the administrators, but this was not allowed. While the World Health Organization was shouting “test, test, test”, we could not prevent the disease from infecting the society by catching and isolating infected cases by applying very few tests at first. The first convoys from Umrah spread all over the country, waving their arms, on the grounds that “there had not yet been an infection reported there”. We closed the Iranian border too late. At least we avoided quarantine in the provinces where the number of cases exploded. In order not to cause panic and to say “we wrote an epic”, we did not include many new patients and deaths in the statistics on the grounds that the PCR test was not positive even though it was certain that they were COVID19. We tried to deceive the public and the virus by making the mistake of pretending to take precautions by putting bans for certain age groups on weekends and holidays. By targeting people over the age of sixty-five as if they were a source of transmission, we ignored the young people who spread the real disease. To catch people over the age of 65 and fine them after a certain hour in the evenings, while releasing all segments of the public to the streets as if the pandemic is over, is to say the least, it is folly and not knowing what they are doing.
Although the situation of the epidemic has never been brought under control since the first case in March, it was pretended to be taken again, and once again, the public’s health was endangered with the politically “new normal” decision. With the opening show of Hagia Sophia, 350,000 people were deliberately and deliberately brought together and an invitation was issued to accelerate the pandemic. The return to normal life with an optimistic picture, pretending that the pandemic was under control, resulted in the public not taking measures such as masks and physical distance seriously. As expected, when the intensive care units started to fill up again with new cases, this time the daily reporting method was changed and the concept of “severe patient”, whose criteria were not clear, started to be used. We could not use the valuable time of the past 4 months due to political decision mistakes made one after the other. The price of this will probably be paid to our children, who will not open schools this time, and who will receive education. Perhaps worse, the pandemic will be fully detonated by opening schools with another erroneous political decision. If it was explained that the decision to return to the “new normal” life, instead of deceiving the public in the name of populist politics, had to be taken for economic reasons by explaining the seriousness of the situation, both the trust in the decision-making authority would increase and people would obey the rules more. In fact, what an honest manager should have done was to tell the truth.
In summary, all responsibility was placed on the public with the advice of “maintain social distance, wear a mask, wash your hands” from the beginning, and when it was seen that the pandemic was continuing at full speed, the public was accused of not complying with the measures. The concepts of social state and preventive medicine have been exhausted and devalued. It has become clear that there are no state mechanisms to stop the wrong decisions of politics on politics and public health.
What should be done, which points should be considered, since the responsibility for protection is entirely on the people, on the Turkish people? People without masks should definitely not be allowed inside the doors of shopping places where they have to go to meet their daily needs. Refusing to wear a mask, for whatever reason, at the expense of endangering the lives of others, is neither acceptable in terms of democratic rights nor ethical concepts. This is a public health issue. It is taking unnecessary risks for people to enter closed places to pray at home. The physical distance should be kept as high as possible above the specified meter limit, in case the droplets can spread too far due to various factors. It may not be necessary to wear a mask while doing sports or resting outdoors, provided that you stay away from other people as a physical distance. It is vital that no indoor space is entered unless necessary, and that tastes, habits and hobbies are changed according to the pandemic conditions and adapted to the confines of the home. Regardless of the political messages that health services in Turkey, hospital conditions, number of intensive care beds, treatment methods are epic, keep in mind that no health system in the world can withstand a pandemic beyond a certain burden if you do not protect your health and those around you.