Last week I wrote about the aftermath of the coronavirus and said the virus is, unfortunately, threatening liberal values. I was right, but the situation has deteriorated so fast in one week that nothing is more important than stopping the COVID-19 disease at the moment.
This virus is extremely contagious. We can stop the contamination only by freezing our social lives. It means freezing freedom of movement, trade and many economic activities. So we should freeze the idea of the right of an individual’s self-determination. It is very sad for a liberal democrat like me to admit, but I don’t see any other option.
Even in Turkey, where countermeasures were taken very fast, the virus has started to infect more and more people. So far, the reported cases have reached 359 people, and we have lost four lives.
Once the outbreak starts to spread, drastic measures should be taken to slow it. Tests should be available countrywide, and people should stay home.
Italy, France, Spain and Germany have set bad examples. It is hard to believe what we are witnessing in 2020. I feel sometimes as if I am watching a dystopian movie. People are dying. There are not enough beds in hospitals in Italy and in the U.S. as infections increase rapidly.
So Turkey should learn lessons from these examples. Even today, people in Italy and France are violating the lockdown rules. This behavior leads to spreading the disease. We should all act responsibly.
In Italy, 40,000 people violated the lockdown in just one week. I can imagine that living under a strict lockdown is very difficult, especially in cities like Rome where usually the apartments don’t have balconies and people are used to being outside. Isolation has left them feeling bored and depressed.
Of course, for colder geographies like Scandinavia, where people spend most of their time at home in long winters, it is not as challenging to stay inside. However, for people in Venice, Madrid, Paris or New York, street life is everything.
The same is true for Istanbul. Istanbul is a living metropolis. We like being outside. But these are extraordinary times. For a while, we must respect our beautiful city and set aside our daily routines. If we don’t take these measures seriously, the outbreak will last much longer and more lives will be lost.
That is why we should restrict ourselves. Stay home and have less contact with others.
The Health Ministry is working hard to control the outbreak. New kits and tests will be available in every Turkish city soon.
The coronavirus outbreak has shown the world that without cooperation, our technology is worthless. We are still vulnerable to nature, and it is time to think about changing the dynamics of the modern world.