Today is the one-year anniversary of the Slovenian government ordering residents to wear face masks. From Wikipedia:
From 29 March, wearing a face mask, even one made at home, or equivalents such as scarves that cover the mouth and nose, is mandatory along with protective gloves; the decree stipulates that masks and gloves need to be worn in indoor public spaces. As of 15 October 2020 face masks or equivalent face coverings are required everywhere in public spaces (including outdoors) for any of the statistical regions designated as “red” (more than 140 confirmed infected per 100k population)
American say-gooders had good things to say about Slovenia. From Vox, May 5, 2020:
It seems like some countries have figured out not only how to flatten their coronavirus curves, but also how to send them plunging downward. From Slovenia to Jordan to Iceland, governments took early action to impose lockdowns, test and trace thousands of people, isolate the sick, encourage social distancing and preventive measures like mask wearing, and communicate honestly with the public. In effect, they followed the prescribed playbook for such a pandemic, and — surprise, surprise — it worked.
(Note that the WHO’s prescribed playbook for a pandemic, prior to 2020, explicitly said “do not wear masks or close borders unless you’re an island”)
Its success mainly stems from an aggressive early lockdown, quarantines of sick people, and generous government spending.
What Slovenia has shown, then, is that aggressive government action and intervention can help keep people from spreading the disease. Even by the government’s own numbers, it could do more testing, but for now, the current measures appear to be working.
How has a year of science-informed “aggressive government action” worked out? Slovenia is #3 on the leaderboard of countries ranked by COVID-19 death rate. Only Belgium and the Czech Republic (masked since March 18, 2020) have had a larger percentage of the population killed by COVID-19.
Our government is impressed enough by these statistics to use our hard-earned tax dollars to buy Facebook ads. From March 16: