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Minsk Residents about Mask Regime: You Need to Think with Your Head, Not with Your TV

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Minsk Residents about Mask Regime: You Need to Think with Your Head, Not with Your TV

How residents of the capital react to the insanity of the authorities.

The compulsory mask regime, newly introduced by the Ministry of Health of Belarus, lasted less than two weeks. After criticism by Lukashenka, the Ministry canceled its own decree.

The correspondent of Salidarnasts walked around Minsk and saw how the Belarusians reacted to this mess.

On Friday morning, the hypermarket in the residential area is not crowded. However, EVERYONE is wearing a mask, and, to be honest, it makes me feel proud. The cashiers, all the salespeople, the merchandisers, the security guards, the customers.

Noticing a visitor entering without a mask, apparently, a familiar visitor, the guard shouts sternly:

- Yura! Put on the muzzle.

- But it seems no longer necessary.

- Maybe in other places it is not necessary, but we will not serve you without a mask. Here, learn, even this contingent is disciplined - representatives of the "contingent," tenderly holding a bottle of fruit and berries wine and pickles in their hands, dignify themselves, adjust their masks even higher on their nose and seem to even grow taller from the praise.

About ten people are standing at the stop on the way to the metro. And again, everyone is wearing masks - even for a baby in a stroller, a young mother puts on a funny mask with a cat's face.

With such a disciplined company, we move to the trolleybus. At the last moment, a boy of 14-15 years old with a club and a big bag flies through the door. One of the passengers makes a remark:

- Why don't you wear a mask, young man?

- But I'm an athlete! - the teenager snaps loudly.

The other passenger just shakes his head.

- You are a fool, not an athlete...

In the metro, the fellow citizens also demonstrate amazing consciousness: in a car of 20 people, only a young man is without a mask - and from Spartyunaya to Kupalauskaya, he remains the only violator of anti-coronavirus measures.

But in the city center, the picture changes: many raise the mask from their chin up just before entering a transport or a store. In GUM, the guard does not comment on the masks to anyone. And although it is recommended to use "respiratory protection" and social distance in the announcement that sounded on the floors (the latter, by the way, was surprisingly reduced to 1-1.5 meters, although earlier it was about "at least one and a half"), it is not obligatory.

Perhaps that is why many, but not all, customers have relaxed and walk around the hall, some wearing a mask that barely hangs on their ears, some without it at all. At the local vaccination station, by the way, it is also almost empty, only two people at the entrance are discussing that they seem to have missed the Chinese vaccine, they have to do the Russian vaccine.

There is a cognitive dissonance: public service announcements are still circulating on the big screen of Kastrychnitskaya Square that you MUST wear masks even after vaccination, maintain hand hygiene, and social distance.

In the shopping center on Peramozhtsau Avenue, the "old" appeal on behalf of the Ministry of Health with recommendations to observe the mask regime continues to run. Most buyers, however, perceive these words as background noise, and, while groups of Chinese students, all as one, wear masks, then people who look like Middle Eastern migrants mostly only denote the presence of a mask on their face.

Having watched the busy intersection in the Troitskaye suburb area, we can conclude that the most responsible in terms of wearing masks are elderly women, and the most frivolous are high school students and students.

One hundred percent "masked" are the post offices and pharmacies, where visitors themselves habitually keep their distance and remind the forgetful ones that they should think not only about themselves but also about those around them. In stores, however, a different algorithm seems to work: the larger the store, the more customers without masks in it, while in the kiosks of Soyuzdruzhba or tiny coffee shops visitors wear masks.

And with public transportation, it's a matter of luck. Someone stubbornly ignores warning posters about the mandatory mask mode in the subway, and someone at a bus stop stands in a mask - as some women banter among themselves: "At the same time, the nose is hidden from the wind."

- I don’t understand this,” the gray-haired woman complains quietly to the young man, “when everything seems to be not scary, the doctors cope - put on masks, but when, on the contrary, there is nowhere to put the sick - take it off… The only thing left is to begin to fine for the fact that you have a mask and not for not wearing it!

- Mom, spit three times, - the young man reacts vividly. - Don't give them ideas - you see how fast bad ideas are accepted.

The inspectors on the bus, apparently out of habit, also remind people to “put on masks.” Some nod, some pretend to be temporarily deaf, and the flock of girls, who sprang in at the Industrial and Pedagogical College stop, are cheerfully waving them off:

- Well, you already don't have to wear a mask!

- Oh, girls, - the middle-aged woman-inspector sighs bitterly. - I have a son now in the hospital... You can, of course, do this and that. You just have to think with your head, not with the TV.

Just at this moment, a man starts coughing in the back - he is wearing a mask, but he coughs incessantly, hysterically, from which the whole bus seems to shudder.

- Yes, I'm leaving already! - feeling unkind looks, the man says.

He leaves indeed as soon as the doors open. Irritated, he immediately throws out the mask but misses the trashcan, and the blue-white spot lies ugly on the asphalt. And somehow it suddenly turns out that the entire student company has masks in their pockets.