Poland, Pozńan: Marta Heldt, 16, student

I’m a high school student from Poland, Poznan, I want to share with you how the situation is handled in my country:
Hi, welcome to the short story about my last months. Horizontal position – I’ve been hearing this phrase for way too long from my mother. It’s not without a reason though. I have been spending way to much time in my bed recently. The feeling of frustration, questioning every decision made by our government. It’s hard to know what to do in times like that. The school in Poland closed really quickly.

… On the 10th of March  I was in the classroom and all of a sudden everyone was happy. I mean, really weirdly happy. The news was out. Poznan is closing schools due to COVID-19. What a piece of weird information to hear on the biology lesson, right? Who wouldn’t like some two weeks off? But two weeks passed by really quickly. It got worse. Two more weeks? Closed cafes, cinemas, theatres? What is there left to do? Well, obviously my horizontal position

Polish government bought masks from China. Poland was so proud, apparently, they were the best and not many managed to get those. Unfortunately, after a while, it turned out they were fake and unsafe to use. Meanwhile, Poland got crazy. And I mean it when I say it. Debates in our parliament weren’t about a pandemic. They were about banning abortions and of course – the presidential election. I was and still am furious.

On the 1st of April, I was told I am not allowed to leave my house alone if I’m not eighteen. There were no exceptions. Seventeen girls and boys couldn’t even go for a walk with the dog. You were not allowed to go shopping while your parents were at work. And don’t get me wrong, lockdown is important, but what about large families? When children are left alone for a day and the oldest one is 17? What about pathological families, abused children, people with mental illnesses?

It’s the 16th of April. Polish people had a lot of time to organize masks for themselves. Our health minister said that we were going to wear those as long as we get the vaccine. But what about the matura exam? It was supposed to take place on the 4th of May. Is it going to be online? Nobody knows.

It’s 10th of May. Elections are cancelled, so are voting papers which cost over 68 million zlotych

31st of May, and it’s getting even crazier. Who needs masks anymore? The regulation is abolished. So is the number of people in churches, cafes, etc.

Saturday, 06.06.20 finally! We can go back to the gym, that is so important for your health isn’t it? How about getting a second thought. Yesterday we had the most confirmed cases. Our regulations are getting abolished while corona is having a lot of fun. After a lot of uncertainties, seniors are going to write their matura exam on the 8th of June. Good luck, I feel like you are going to need it…    

Summing up all the things that have happened during COVID-19-pandemic behind closed doors in our government, here is the long story short.
Our country has postponed the election date without having declared the state of emergency – which is against the Constitution, how is that possible?
The government has put a new law into execution. It’s a special act made for epidemic causes. Interesting thing is that this act will not only be used during this pandemic because the law is in the Journal of Laws of the Republic of Poland.

As you can imagine, not unlikely, it can lead to many misuses. A good example is that the Minister of Education can close schools during “crisis situations”, but what kinds? That is not specified. What if the teacher strike will happen, just like in April 2019? Is that a crisis situation? This special act gives the government even more power and there is nothing and no one to control them. Constitutional violation rarely surprises me anymore and I am sure it is a bad thing.

It’s also important to acknowledge the recent situation that has happened during Coronavirus has changed a lot in my personal life, it has opened my eyes to many different topics and gave me a lot of time to educate myself in subjects that interest me the most. Three months lockdown is probably not the nicest thing in the world and I really do wish it would all finish already. But to be fair, if you used your time wisely – the profit is yours to take.

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