The mistake of believing in advertising itself

The difficulties we have witnessed in controlling the pandemic show how easy it is to fall into the trap of believing in propaganda itself.

The difficulties we have witnessed in controlling the pandemic show how easy it is to fall into the trap of propaganda. After success in the first phase of the pandemic, the country entered a kind of wishfull thinking collective, according to which it would be possible to suspect almost without risk, if we used masks and avoided gatherings. We could even - be amazed - go to the disco to dance in our little square. The cases that were appearing were certainly due to ignorance and lack of hygiene, since Portugal is clean and safe.

The poor who live in some neighborhoods on the outskirts of Lisbon, which were already the target of discrimination, now suffer from the stigma that in the Middle Ages was reserved for lepers and pestilents. They are the perfect scapegoat to feed our collective defense mechanism, just as were the northerners to whom a sad television oracle attributed little education.

In addition, watching some news on television, we learn that there are 'good' gatherings, led by fine people and apparently immune to the pandemic, to whom DGS attributes a seal of sanity. And then there are the 'bad' gatherings, which bring together those people who have no activism or activism. Just as there are bad countries, ruled by madmen who spew nonsense and where people fall like thrushes, in contrast to others where - miracle - it seems that no one dies.

In fact, Covid-19 is a disease as contagious as it is democratic, which does not look at social classes, education, ideologies or professions. Even with all care, anyone is at risk of being contaminated. Just go out on the street. It doesn't just happen to others and it is not credible that, in a metropolis like Greater Lisbon, where millions of people move daily between different municipalities, it is possible to compartmentalize the virus in two dozen parishes. It is a pandemic and there are no foolproof, easy or painless solutions.

On the other hand, the economy is not going to return to normal just because we want it to be so, as long as the disease is on the loose tourists will not return, shops and restaurants will not have enough customers and companies will not work as before . The more new cases of the disease, the longer the situation will drag on and the worse it will be in economic terms.

Of course, the country cannot remain closed and we must be suspicious, taking the humanly possible precautions, but we must face reality as it is, with optimism, but without illusions. Propaganda is useful to mobilize efforts and pass the idea abroad that the country is safe. But at the end of the day, reality is always stronger. And the President of the Republic and the Government, who since the beginning have been competent in managing this crisis, cannot now fall into the error of believing in their own propaganda, as was seen in the decision to bring the Champions League to Portugal, under penalty of if the situation gets worse.

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