Treat People Like Idiots and That’s How They’ll Respond

The reasons behind the catastrophic Covid-19 response in Slovenia and Central Europe

Marjan Krebelj


Photo by Blaž Gostinčar from Pexels

As of today, 23rd November 2021, Slovenia is one the worst-performing countries in the world in terms of new Covid-19 cases per capita daily and on the brink of the total collapse of our healthcare institutions.

At the same time, people still protest against anti-Covid measures, the numbers of anti-vaxxers are quite strong and it seems there is no end in sight.

So what went wrong?

Well, a lot.

There is no simple answer to this question. Any pandemic is a complex situation and right now the only word describing what’s going on in central Europe would be: a mess. A big mess.

So I’ll try to untangle it and list a few reasons I believe are driving this situation. Let’s dive into it.


Slovenia entered the pandemic amid a political “crisis”, the previous government just resigned and another emergency administration was formed right when the virus hit. The new prime minister became Janez Janša.

As the pandemic got serious, he appointed Jelko Kacin as his spokesman on the topic. I know these names might not mean much to you, but despite their subsequent history they still ring some very romantic bells, even to their most ardent opponents.

You see, the same duet carried us through the independence war during 1991. Janša served as Minister of Defence, Kacin as the Secretary of Information, both bringing us daily updates from the front. All our hopes and fears during that intense time were channeled through to these two guys and it is normal they feel special to us.

It was not only a time of adversity and struggle but also a time of unprecedented unity for the Slovenian nation. For a short time, we truly felt like one! We were on our way to freedom and there was nothing that could stop us.

Slovenian Independence War, 1991 — Photo: Peter Božič



Marjan Krebelj

Once an architect, now a freelance photographer/filmmaker with passion for words.