Recent findings by the National Institute of Public Health on the proportion of those infected in kindergartens and primary schools where the masks were not compulsory, as opposed to the secondary schools, where masks were compulsory, have come to light. The differences are obvious and have far-reaching consequences. In addition, the trade union leader Branimir Štrukelj called for noncompliance with the measures of the profession by publicly tearing the mask off of his face, and the SD party called for schools without masks. Children, who are considered to be the silent spreaders of COVID-19, thus brought the virus to their parents, who spread the infection further, all the way to nursing homes.
There has been quite a bit of controversy since the beginning of the school year. Staying in school or distance learning. Should all students wear masks in school or not. Opinions on the left were, of course, constantly changing, depending on what served them best at the moment. As always, the most important criterion here was the need to oppose the government, regardless of the consequences.
One of the loudest opponents of the obligatory wearing of masks in schools was the trade unionist Branimir Štrukelj, but then the Trade Union of Education, Science and Culture of Slovenia (Sindikat vzgoje, izobraževanja, znanosti in kulture Slovenije – SVIZ) changed their minds. When the government decided that masks would no longer be compulsory at school, they criticized the government and also demanded an apology from the Prime Minister Janez Janša, who was critical of Štrukelj’s inciting of the people working in schools. At that time, the union was still opposing the protective measures, with the help of the SD party. So, whatever the government proposed, the unions opposed and did the exact opposite.
Kindergartens and schools without masks are an epidemiological bomb
However, the National Institute of Public Health published the data on the proportion of infections among the kindergartens, primary schools and secondary schools. The biggest surprise is the difference between the categories of children who were required to wear masks (high school) and children who attended kindergarten and primary school and did not wear masks. According to the data, the proportion of those infected among high school students between the 26th of September and the 3rd of November never exceeded 0.5 percent. A sharp increase in infections was recorded among the children attending kindergartens and primary school – 2.8 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively. Precisely because of these groups, the virus has spread uncontrollably to the most vulnerable, so these days, up to 45 Slovenians die every day.
The opposing of the opposition, and especially the SD party, which further promoted schools without masks, certainly did nothing to help limit the spread of infections. It is not surprising that Štrukelj, who used to be married to Milan Kučan‘s daughter, joined this kind of incitement. It will be recalled that he also ran unsuccessfully on the list of the Left Party several times. But remember – when the situation began to deteriorate quickly, he was not the only one to quickly change his opinion – at least seemingly, so did Tanja Fajon and the entire SD party. The former Social Democrat champion Dejan Židan even called on the public not to trust the covid conspirators and warned that this is a serious illness. How sincere the calls for compliance are, however, remains questionable for certain anti-government activists. This is also evident from the fact that the measures, if the possibility arises, are either being criticized, or they complain that the government adopted them too late. They cause the most damage by inciting distrust in the government with their statements, which will certainly not save us from the covid crisis. And they are not causing that much damage to the government, even though they would very much like to – they are actually hurting the people who are finding it increasingly difficult to afford the stricter measures, not to mention the victims of the disease.