Egils Levits
Valsts prezidenta Egila Levita aicinājums Latvijas sabiedrībai mobilizēties un kopīgiem spēkiem apturēt pandēmijas izplatību

Dear people of Latvia,

We hear alarming new statistics about Covid-19 infections every day. Those are not just figures, these are our fellow compatriots.

Several European countries have already admitted that the pandemic is getting out of hand.

We cannot afford to be neither chaotic nor complacent. We cannot afford to listen to populists. Fake news that they are spreading are dangerous to our fellow man and women, the whole society.

Our goals need to be rational.

We should prevent the pandemic from spiralling out of control. We need firm and decisive action. If we need to, we have to be ready to go even further in terms of imposing more rigorous temporary restrictions. For example, if necessary, we need to be ready to switch to remote learning, limit our professional interactions or gatherings.

Not because government says so, not because someone else wants it, but because our lives and health depend on it. We do not want to see stadiums turned into makeshift hospitals. Let us not forget, the biggest loss of all is when you lose someone you really care about.

Government is constantly balancing public safety measures based on expert recommendation with on-going developments. That is the rational and the right way.

So, here is what I expect our government will do.

First, consult with experts and come up with a plan. A plan that would detail what we do next and also precise safety protocols for various scenarios of the pandemic. It must be an operational plan that can easily be expanded or adjusted. A plan that would offer greater certainty.

Second, government must clearly communicate this to the public. We need to know what we should and should not do, but we also need to understand why these measures are needed, whether they are balanced, and why other seemingly rational measures are not needed. There must be absolutely clear communication on why safety measures are in place. There can be no uncertainty or two ways about it.

Fellow Latvians,

Freedom is knowing what you need. We need to mobilise our collective resources to quell the second wave of the pandemic. We did it in spring. We are able to do it now, as well.

Stay strong and positive and keep well!