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August 13, 2022



Patrik Banga: Who will be to blame for the Romani victims of COVID-19 in the Czech Republic?

4.12.2021 11:25
Romani community member David Mezei during the demonstration on 26 June 2021 in Teplice, Czech Republic. (PHOTO: Petr Zewlakk Vrabec)
Romani community member David Mezei during the demonstration on 26 June 2021 in Teplice, Czech Republic. (PHOTO: Petr Zewlakk Vrabec)

I promised myself not to express my views anymore about the live broadcasts I see happening on Facebook. I promised myself not to express my views about COVID-19, about vaccines, or about all of the circumstances involved.

However, I keep waiting for the educated public who are Romani community members to say something instead of silently watching as a self-elected warrior with a criminal record, without an education and without any broader outlook influences a mass of people here who share his limited outlook. There has been (almost) nothing.

All honor to the exceptions who have spoken up. Yes, this pandemic has been going on for two years already.

Everybody is annoyed by that fact. I also do not enjoy restrictions, regulations, limitations, the general fear, and watching the opinions of politicians spin around as if they were doing a routine on the uneven parallel bars.  

I fully comprehend those who do not want to be forced into vaccination for whatever reason. Some fear the amount of time it took to develop the materials in the vaccine (and there is no point in writing here that this current vaccine is an adapted version of vaccines developed several years ago).

Some people fear unwanted side effects (have you ever read the packaging that comes with antibiotics? Ibuprofen? Pralen? Nose drops?).

Others don't want to allow the state to harass them, in short. Yes, everybody has the right to make his or her own decisions.

The rights of the individual, however, end exactly where the endangerment of the rest of us begins. So yes, I got the vaccine.

So did my daughter, my son, my wife, my friends, my neighbors and my father. I could write many paragraphs here about the fact that the point of vaccination is, above all, that if you were to catch COVID-19, the likelihood of your dying of it is noticeably reduced. 

I could also write about how, by getting vaccinated, you reduce the likelihood of infecting your own mother, father, grandmother or entire family. However, I do believe that each of us has his or her own intelligence to use in this regard.

I believe each of us is able to find information and assess it for ourselves. I believe each of us is so responsible that we will, in short, reflect on whether it is wise to risk being sent to an intensive care ward in a hospital or not.

I am not attempting to convince anybody else what to do. I won't even do so now.

I refuse to take personal responsibility for other people's decisions. That is exactly what Romani community member David Mezei is doing, who has currently changed the field of his endeavors and instead of allegedly fighting for the rights of Stanislav Tomáš (using impoverished Romani people's money), or for his own Italian vacation (using money from Roma who are not impoverished), or carving into his own chest somewhere in Ostrava, has begun preaching about the harmfulness of getting vaccinated against COVID-19.  

Marvel of marvels, he has succeeded. An uneducated ditch-digger who has repeatedly been convicted of felonies with a tendency to drink alcohol (which he shows us through his Facebook profile), with a drug-related past, is casting doubt on the work of renowned scientists who have published dozens of papers, earned university degrees, and who work as professors or experts abroad, even.

Mezei feverishly tells tales through his Facebook profile to hundreds of Romani followers, claiming that vaccination will kill them and that if their relatives get vaccinated they will also be killed. What does it matter that he has absolutely no idea what a cell nucleus is, what a molecule is, what the principle of the mRNA vaccine is - it's just as alien to him as to me.

He attended the "university of life" on Facebook and in three days was transformed from a ditch-digger into a renowned biologist/immunologist. That would be like me telling a cardiologist how to operate on my heart.

Did Mezei go protest in Prague together with "The Dog Is Dead", the Workers' Party, the Free Bloc, the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" (SPD) movement, Daniel Landa, Tomáš Vandas, and Marián Kotleba? Did he stand side by side with such people onstage so he could show up on Facebook in such company?   

Ok, that's on his conscience. I'd just add that what is on Landa's conscience is support for the movement of the skinheads who have been beating us Roma up here with impunity for decades and who have on their own consciences several dozen racist murders.

The Workers' Party organized racist marches here relatively recently and they have dozens of assaulted Romani people just like you, me and Mezei on their consciences. Just four years ago the secretary for the SPD said on the grounds of Parliament that all "homosexuals", Jews and Roma should be sent to the gas chambers.

If you consider such a herd to be your partners in the crusade against vaccinations, then something is wrong here. Many Romani people are not just supporting Mezei, but also sharing hoaxes from the workshops of exactly the kind of people I am describing here.

As the "cherry on top" I'd just add that the hero Mezei was also supporting, by participating in that event, Vlastimil Pechanec, the murderer of the Romani man Ota Absolon - he was in the audience for Pechanec's "speech". Anybody who wants to influence the public must also accept responsibility for what he or she does, though.  

Mezei is convincing people not to get vaccinated, and anybody who expresses a different opinion (as Jirka Giňa did on 1 December) is immediately assaulted, insulted and shouted down for being a "murderer". For some reason that is absolutely incomprehensibile to me, Mezei's audience believes him.  

The question is:  Will Mezei take personal responsibility for those who die because they were convinced by his Facebook broadcasts to avoid the vaccine? Will he take personal responsibility for the fact that one, two, three or 10 families become infected because instead of listening to renowned experts, they listened to a ditch-digger?

Romale, don't let yourself be confused by me or by the "school of life" graduates on Facebook. Look for information and ask the experts yourselves.

Ask the general practitioners whom you know, the experts whom you know, then decide what to do with your body. Bill Gates does not own the World Health Organization and currently there are so few microchips available in the world that they can't even keep putting them into mobile phones, to say nothing of somehow putting them into vaccines. 

Look for information, ask questions, assess the information you receive. There is no Romani savior and the only person responsible for you is you yourself.

Patrik Banga, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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