The Coronavirus Epidemic: Belarusians Do not Keep Calm but Carry on

Belarusian soldiers during the Victory Day Parade in Minsk are wearing no masks. May 2020. Source: BBC.

Since the first case of Covid-19 has been reported in Belarus in February, it did not seem to significantly affect the life of Belarusians. For some time, the authorities have been in the phase of denial of the coronavirus-related threat. Unlike in the rest of Europe, despite the rising numbers of the cases, the ’last dictatorship of Europe’ has opted for a liberal approach towards fighting the epidemics. In fact, Aleksander Lukashenka, the head of the state since 1994, often deliberately belittled the problem.

Yet, the Belarusian society seems to be deeply divided over the coronavirus threat. While some people take it seriously, others believe that strict measures such as quarantine, would cause devastating economic harm.