Belarus is one of a few countries that refuses from radical restrictive measures during the pandemic of covid-19. Lukashenka’s main claim is that the virus does not pose such a major threat as other countries describe. One cannot compare 22.973 confirmed cases (+921 in the last 24h) and 131 death (+5)[1] to Spain or Italy even though the rapid increase in confirmed cases demonstrates that Belarus is still to experience the peak of the pandemic. On the other hand, the President appeals to reality and emphasizes that for example alcoholism kills much more people than the corona virus. That is why Lukashenka appeals to self-consciousness and asks vulnerable and possibly infected people to stay home while the rest are free to continue living their ‘normal’ life.

However, life in Belarus cannot be called ‘normal’ because society is divided into two groups. One believes that the virus does not pose any threat to their lives while the second claims that the government does not tell the full truth to people and should switch to restrictive measures. They have organized Bycivod-19 support group that unites civil society to help medical personnel by providing necessary protection where the government cannot. Activists have fear that Lukashenka underestimates the problem while Belarus is not ready to face it due to the unpreparedness. They also doubt the correctness of provided data because conducted number of tests is limited to people with evident symptoms of covid-19.

The decision of self-confinement resulted in the closure of many small businesses. The private sector struggles from the pandemic while governmental services work in their normal regime. People are puzzled because they do not know what to expect based on the experience of other countries and whether to believe official information provided by the government. Consequently, the situation in the country remains unstable while no one is able to predict how it develops in the future.



[1] Data on the 11th of May