Statement on the situation in the Czech Republic and the growing epidemic from the leadership of Masaryk University
The situation in the Czech Republic is grave. We are facing a crisis. The SARS-CoV-2 epidemic is not the only threat. Public trust in state institutions has been shaken to the core, and there are deep divides in our society.
The leadership of Masaryk University believes that unfortunately we are currently witnessing the playing out of the scenario suggested by the most far-sighted experts. The number of cases is increasing as is the number of seriously ill people and deaths. At every turn we encounter chaos and a fundamental lack of preparedness for the phase of the epidemic we are now in. Nonetheless, there are still people who downplay the epidemic or even deny its existence and question the necessity of the measures that have been put in place to prevent the further uncontrolled spread of the virus.
Masaryk University is an educational institute that not only knows what difficulties students and teachers are facing these days, but, thanks to its university hospitals and ten faculties, is also well aware of the troublesome situation in the healthcare and social care systems. Masaryk University helped on many fronts during the first wave of the epidemic in spring and continues to do so now.
Due to the current emergency, the leaders of Masaryk University are calling upon employees, teachers, and students, as well as those who are not indifferent to the future of our country and the fates of many people, especially the sick and vulnerable, to do the following:
- We mustn’t underestimate or downplay the epidemic.
- We must act responsibly. The recklessness of some people has direct impacts on high-risk groups, on people in hospitals and social care facilities.
- We mustn’t ignore the measures in place to prevent the virus’s further spread, and we must consider adhering to them the very least that we can do. The sooner we all understand this, the sooner will be open schools, whose closing may have a catastrophic impact on education levels in our country.
- We must listen to those who over the past months and weeks have proven themselves to truly understand the situation and whose predictions have proven to be correct and farsighted. We must provide real, correct information about the spread of the virus.
- We must help where help is needed and in areas that we understand and for which we can bear responsibility. We must support our doctors, healthcare professionals, and care workers.
- We must learn to find our bearings in the new situation and be willing to learn new things. The current crisis is likely to last longer than most people predicted.
- We must help put depression, bad habits, and pessimism behind us. We must help build bridges of trust in our families and at our workplaces, even if only virtually.
There is no question that we face a dangerous invisible enemy. Because we cannot see it does not mean that it does not exist. The exact opposite is true. We are sure to overcome this crisis. But we must awaken the good in ourselves, in our society as a whole. The legacy of Tomáš G. Masaryk, whose ideas we affirm in this statement, obliges us to do so.
On behalf of Masaryk University leadership
Martin Mareš, rector