Data

Micromanagement and acting important

The insane micromanaging rules of the square meter-based reopening plan visualized.

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This is the government’s proposed idea of the gradual, or square footage based reopening of stores. (Infographics from telex.hu) Based on the size of the store, the following number of people can be admitted:

  • 100 sqm: 10-20 customers
  • 105 sqm: 5-7 customers

If it doesn’t make sense to you, that is because you are not from here.

Governments everywhere are acting the busybody and making regulations that are more designed to make them look concerned than actually lowering public health risk. Harassing hikers in Scotland, making centimeter-based maps of how far French are allowed to walk from home and demanding paperwork to prove why – governments are a disgrace everywhere.

The traveling rules also act more like a travel ban, creating (just in the EU) a 28x28x28 matrix where everyone must be sorted according to country of origin, destination and nationality, and based on the result they decide how much they should pay, wait in quarantine, how many tests they should endure and pay for. And adding the vaccination status to the matrix will not make it any better, it will just confuse people as to whether governments are being cautious with these stupid rules or a nuisance. (Nuisance.)

Now we have the visual manifestation of the same misguided political posturing, making the government look like they are doing something, yet it is only good for show, for passing the time – and in some countries’ case corruption.

Last time we had square meter-based regulation of grocery stores, it was a knee-jerk attempt to punish foreign (mostly German) supermarket chains while benefiting CBA, the grocery store franchise owned by a Hungarian crony of Orbán. Playing entire markets into “Hungarian hands” is a massively important priority for Orbán and he had been “at war with” the retail industry for years. Because that’s what governments do, obviously.

Mind you, if these private companies weren’t in charge of our food supply during the lockdowns and the mindless clampdown on borders, we would have starved. Please picture your omnipotent government trying to figure out how much food and groceries to get to each household and how and when. That’s the alternative, and you know it would have been a disaster.

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So when Orbán talked about “square meter based reopening” and posted about being a busybody and concocting a micromanagement plan yesterday (ass sticking out, belly hanging, looking superbly important and omnicompetent) we were cracking jokes on how he is trying to benefit CBA and punish foreign-owned stores on a square meter basis. And how difficult it must be to prove that social distancing prefers the smaller stores of CBA but not the big supermarkets and shopping malls.

But they did it. And telex.hu was mean enough to put the irrational proposal on an infographic (see above) to illustrate the nonsense of it.

The only place (apart from CBA stores) where social distancing is not practiced is vaccination points. Hungary’s Navalny and the rest of the independent media keeps posting crowded scenes from government-run, top-down vaccination points (like GP’s offices) where people are stuffed in small waiting rooms, often for hours. (Photos from Facebook – Ákos Hadházy)

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But because both independent experts and opposition politicians and mayors are demanding to rationalize vaccination, to open up large venues for it, and because they are even offering their help, it is unlikely the government’s loyalists experts will yield. It would make the opposition look right. (It is also wasteful to assign one doctor to each of these small vaccination points, so they will double down on it. And if someone mentions the doctor shortage, he will offer doctors to other countries. Haven’t you learned enough of autocrats yet?)

And in the country where dozens of stadiums have been built under Orbán but no hospitals, it is not a far out question whether stadiums should at least be used as vaccination sites. But no, they are used for hosting the circus, the process of procuring a lawn-protector to shield the lawn from the elephant is happening.

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