After the summer, the number of coronavirus infections in Europe increased again. Romania is no exception. The number of infections is rising, and the number of deaths is high compared to other EU countries. Schools have also now started again and elections are imminent.
The Romanian government is aware that strict measures are needed to prevent the shaky healthcare system from collapsing under a large influx of COVID-19 patients. Not only on public transport, but also in shops and other buildings, everyone is required to wear a face mask. Only small children are excluded from the requirement.
So in primary and secondary schools, children alternate between sitting in class for a fortnight, wearing a face mask, after which they then, sit at home for a fortnight and receive online education. At least if there are no corona attacks at the school, because then everything continues online.
Kindergartens have had to adapt completely because of the new measures. There, children do not have to wear a mouth mask, but have to keep as much distance as possible. In the city, there are easily 500 pupils in one kindergarten, and protocols have been established that vary from school to school. For instance, parents are allowed to enter the school premises, but with a face mask on. In addition, preschoolers are only allowed to play in the classroom in small, fixed groups. In the playground, each class has a section marked off and teachers all wear a mouth mask. There is also a medical check-up every day.
In short, the fun is over. But the end is not yet in sight. Rumour has it that after the local elections on 27 September, the government will have another lockdown wants to institute, so as not to discourage voter turnout.
At the elections, mayors, municipal councils, provincial governors and county councils can be elected. Voting can only be done with a mouthpiece on. There has been a shift in Romanian politics from conservative to progressive for several years. In this, the conservative (corrupt) power parties still get by far the most votes, by the way.
In Bucharest, the battle is between Gabriela Firea, the incumbent mayor, and Nicușor Dan. The latter is an independent candidate supported by progressive parties but also by liberals. Thanks to this occasional cooperation, Dan is leading in the polls. In large parts of the country, however, the PSD, social democrats in name only, is sure to win.