I don‘t know how much time politicians spend second guessing themselves but I can imagine that Alain Berset and Simonetta Sommaruga are asking themselves whether it was wise to meet with the press on Tuesday and announce the new measures that have yet to be approved by the cantons (which will be done this Friday).
To say that the announcements were met with mixed emotions is an understatement. Many cantons in the French speaking part of Switzerland are just coming out of stricter measures and, having managed to lower their numbers, are incredulous that they should have to close shops and restaurants at 19.00. The cantons in the German speaking part are a mixed bag of reactions; some feel the government is going too far and stepping on the toes of the federalistic concept, others feel the measures are not enough but are waiting to see what finally gets approved this Friday before implementing their own measures. Restaurants and bars are threatening to plan strike actions, claiming that these measures will put them out of business, and families are already worried about how they can juggle a family with several kids and no playmates.
The fact remains that the number of people infected with Covid-19 are going up and that something needs to happen to help stop the spread of the disease. I guess we will all just have to be patient and see whether the council will keep its nerve and implement the planned changes or dilute them. We will share the announcement of the press conference tomorrow.
The Swiss political system is its own very special democracy and one thing that stands out compared to other countries is that the country is governed by 7 federal councillors and that they each get to take turns at the „presidency“ of the country for one year. This doesn’t give them the right to make all the decision, but they become the face of the country both nationally and internationally for PR purposes. This year Simonetta Sommaruga has been our „head of the country“, and yesterday Guy Parmelin was elected to represent Switzerland next year. He comes from the French speaking part and belongs to the SVP political party.
Today is national mental wellness day. Under the title:
Talk about it. Seek Help, the government is encouraging people suffering from emotional distress as a result of the pandemic to reach out for help. We can only applaud this initiative and will be releasing a podcast with Dr. Brandi Eijsermans on the topic shortly.
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Wishing you all a lovely day!