The ministries have self-destructed.
Hey, where are you? Go-vern-ment! Sne-gu-ro-chka! No answer. There's nobody. In fact, what should we have expected from them? As soon as it came to serious business, not petty tricks, they were gone like the wind.
Have you noticed the country we're living in? We don't have a government. We don't have power. We don't even have a dictator. He escaped wearing a woman's dress, hid in the house and waved his hockey stick to disperse ghosts in a world of his nightmares. Our real world is different. The authorities left Belarusians to deal with the pandemic on their own.
We have professional and heroic doctors who have treated and will treat in any, the most severe conditions, even in trenches. We do not have a Ministry of Health. It hid somewhere under the porch of that house with a hockey stick and died there in peace. Can anybody prove that a ministry exists and operates? I'll bet that no one. It doesn't exist. There are doctors and patients - not only with coronavirus but also with ulcer, appendicitis, heart attack. Everybody's being treated. No one regulates or controls the interaction between doctors and patients. You know, it's even better.
There are amazingly talented teachers in Belarus, who love children and their profession. But the Ministry of Education does not. Where is it? May it just hide behind a mop? No, it didn't, it self-destructed. There's no ministry, but there are teachers. They take responsibility without waiting for any official instructions. They let parents not bring children to schools. They explore online learning opportunities and introduce them without any further training courses. They extend their working hours sending out tasks and often study with each schoolchild individually. They talk to the administration and ignore the ministry, especially since it does not exist anymore - only in payrolls.
All kinds of industrial and trade ministries have gone without a trace as soon as it came to providing doctors with masks, protective gears, goggles, respirators. Do you think a dust-producing plant has been re-profiled to produce protective equipment? Do you think they buy in the missing pieces? No way. We don't have the government. How can we find officials who would do anything? Volunteers sew masks; volunteer sponsors buy the missing pieces at their own expense and take everything to hospitals. Self-destructed ministries are in a coma.
May the Defense Ministry have it all? It's probably run off its legs sending telegrams about spring draft rescheduling. No way. Conscripts take medical commissions, turn into first and second level contacts, and then go home to their parents and grandparents. The ministry has long been gone - military officials have gone to the woods to play warriors.
You can go into infinity. For example, do we have the MIA? Of course, not. Some policemen are still wandering around the city, but they don't know anything. They're not even told why they can't go to the Vitsebsk region. Traffic policemen now stop cars not so much to check documents as to ask the question: "Do you know anything? Because we don't know..."
Have you heard anything about the activities of any executive committees, secretariats, committees? Or did the "house" suddenly come to life and filled with living people instead of dead ones? Or did other ministries decide that they were alive and stood together with Belarusians? I don't think so. There was no one left but us.
By the way, we do it great without them. Judge: people are left without a government in a global pandemic. Nobody will help them, and people start to help themselves. Each Belarusian is responsible for his part of work: to buy antiseptics for the whole family, to leave elderly relatives at home, to keep a distance on the street, not to let children go to school, to bring food to a retired neighbour, to buy masks for doctors in the nearest hospital, to transfer employees to remote work, and even to suspend business and lose money, because the life of others comes first. Everyone has their part of the country to be saved. And we do it. Without them. They don't exist anymore. They have self-destructed as soon as it came to making decisions and acting. It turned out that no one ever needed them.
All these years we have been living in the paradigm of "we need to change power". It seems that the situation has changed. There is no power. There's no need to change it anymore. We'll just have to take it as soon as we save the country from the pandemic.
Iryna Khalip, especially for Charter97.org