The hopes of thousands of Swiss are dashed. As of March 22, they will not be able to go for a drink on a terrace, nor to go to the cinema or to a theater. The population rejoiced too soon and the Federal Council spoke too quickly. In reality, the government has been misunderstood, or rather its communication is poor. Last week, he advocated several relaxations giving hope to the catering and cultural circles. Many places are organized to reopen their doors next week. Error: the Federal Council had launched a simple consultation. Nobody wanted to hear the caveats emitted by Alain Berset on a possible deterioration of the pandemic situation. And it created false hopes.
This Friday, the Federal Council thus went back, arguing that the health situation had deteriorated considerably in a week. An argument that is difficult to hear at a time when the number of hospitalizations is decreasing. But to govern is to plan and the Federal Council wants to avoid reproducing the precipitation of last autumn, which generated a strong second wave.
Abandoned by his colleagues
These announcements are a real blow and Alain Berset was alone to assume them. Faced with the Swiss population riveted in front of the screen, the Minister of Health was abandoned by his colleagues. Guy Parmelin was conspicuous by his absence. Since the start of his presidency, the Vaudois had shown exemplary. He explained, reassured, showed empathy. For the announcement of the bad news, the SVP abandoned its Minister of Health. This is President Parmelin’s first misstep.
Alain Berset is more alone than ever since his other usual allies, the cantonal health directors, have also let go, stressing in a press release, released during his speech, that the cantons would have liked more flexibility.
This rebuff questions the very method of the government: should the entire population be consulted and then not take the results into account? This faulty communication contributes to the mistrust and the fed up of the population.
Given the persistence of the crisis, it is time for the Federal Council to rethink its way of doing things.