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'Argentina bipolar': from opening without controls to closing without grays, how to stop deaths from Covid


Since the confinement in the AMBA was relaxed, last weekend, the bars were filled again and the clandestine parties returned. Is it possible that there is a balance?

Irene Hartmann

06/16/2021 6:00 AM

  • Clarí

  • Society

Updated 06/16/2021 6:00 AM

On Monday it was commented in different media that the weekend had been a relaxation: exploited bars and uncontrolled clandestine parties, as if the news that, a) the cases of coronavirus slowly began to decline and, b) that Governor Axel Kicillof would reopen the schools, they would have generated a "

corkage effect



dichotomous scenarios

seem to

be the Argentina comfort zone: all or nothing, opening or closing, liberty or confinement, presencialidad or virtuality.

Is there a place for the grays?


talked about this with three intellectuals from very different areas.

The idea was to understand if this equation that only contemplates extremes, ultimately, sinks us.

Those consulted were

Luca Sartorio

, a graduate in Economics and associate researcher at the Center for the Evaluation of Evidence-based Policies (CEPE-Universidad Torcuato Di Tella);

Jorge Aliaga

, physicist, former dean of Exactas at the UBA and current Secretary of Planning at the University of Hurlingham; and

Daniel Feierstein

, sociologist, professor at the UBA and UNTREF and researcher at Conicet (author of "

The construction of the fascist dwarf. The uses of hatred as a political strategy in Argentina



asked them this: How is it possible that when looking at the

Our World in Data site

, countries like Peru, Canada, Italy or Germany tie us in terms of “restrictions” (the “

strigency index

” is a variable built by that site, very interesting although not inscrutable), but Argentina, with the peak of May 23 of 734 cases per million inhabitants (average, last 7 days), has exceeded the historical maximum of infections in those countries?

Outdoor tables in Puerto Madero, city of Buenos Aires.

Photo Juano Tesone

Feierstein raised - with an air of disappointment - two problems.

The first is that “

there is not enough clarity

, especially information to the population, both public and from the media, about which are the most and least dangerous activities.

As it is not clear what type of activity can be done, the

logic of 'all or nothing' appears


"In addition, I believe that there is no

conviction about the controls

to apply at different times, with respect to the restrictions that are being generated.

That makes it difficult to be clear about where we are in the pandemic, "he assessed.

It is evident: the measures taken in the quarantines of the different jurisdictions were not accompanied, in many cases, by appropriate controls.

As if in, in that sense, taking Feierstein's words, there had been no "conviction" or consensus of what to do.

But do we need to be controlled to meet the rules?


Aliaga preferred to emphasize

compliance with the rules

and not their control: “There is an attempt by the authorities to generate

objective parameters

, but many are not accepted and, therefore, they are not fulfilled.

Today we have a situation in which everyone does what they want ”.

The physicist is convinced that everything should have been different from the beginning: “If you tell me, from a humanitarian point of view, what should have been done, I will tell you 'what (

the Franco-Spanish engineer

) Tomás Pueyo says: close, go down cases, and from there very strictly control the income to the area, and then live normally, without cases.

This did South Korea, Australia ... countries mostly from the East. "

Now, he admitted, "those from the West could not. They lived with

many cases and many deaths


Aliaga at this point is harsh: "What makes no sense is to pretend to have a normal life and not have dead. Do you want to have few dead? Well, there is a way to do it. The economy and society are not willing to do that? Good "So you live with the dead.

Here the only aspiration was that the health system would not collapse


One of the most obvious conclusions (because it happens before our eyes), but at the same time surprising, that Luca Sartori and Eduardo Levy Yeyati arrived at after studying the legal rigor and levels of mobility in the populations of one hundred countries is that

the harder and longer a quarantine is, the more it is breached


"The starting point is that we come from 2020, a year with an intense and long quarantine, which, beyond the fact that it was loosening at a certain point, was quite accomplished in terms of mobility," Sartori introduced.

Their analysis revealed

four variables

: “The most unfulfilled quarantines were the most rigid.

The passage of time accelerated non-compliance.

In addition, the poorest countries, with lower income and with greater labor informality, where many people are completely arrested if the economy stops moving, had higher levels of non-compliance ”.

“So far, nothing seems revealing: we had a strict quarantine, wear and tear was generated due to its size, the country is not rich and has significant levels of informality.

In all dimensions,

Argentina has increasingly difficult to enforce its measures,

"he summarized.

Cause and effect

Sartori added a fifth element that is paradoxical (not to say disturbing): "Another study showed us that although there is a reduction in infections due to less


, the effect tends to decrease over time."

This, he clarified, "does not mean anything else that

today it is possible to live with higher levels of mobility because there are other strategies

exerting an effect: better testing protocols, isolation and treatment of infected persons. Reducing mobility always reduces infections, but that effect was stronger before than now. "

What is the use of analyzing all this?

For Sartori, “any proposal must see all this context.

One cannot set an agenda based on what happened in a certain country without taking into account the year we come from.

Not only because of the consequences of the closure of 2020 but also because of the problem of the

ability to enforce the measures


With these counterpoints (opening vs. closing) ahead, what can you expect from the next few weeks?

Aliaga was very clear: “If the circulation we had before the last strict nine-day closure returns,

cases should go up again



there may be less susceptible than before.

There were many infections and many people are being vaccinated.

There could be fewer people susceptible to contracting Covid


This, he concluded, could offset the rise in cases due to greater mobility: “Obviously, you are going down that


, delicate



Whether it will work or not, I don't know.

If I think it's for the best, no.

The best thing is not to have 500 deaths per day


But are we as a society willing not to have 500 deaths per day?

I do not think so".


Look also

What was the disease of the 86-year-old woman who died after taking the second dose of Sputnik

AstraZeneca vaccine: what will Argentina do after its use is discontinued in Chile in men under 45 years of age

Source: clarin

All life articles on 2021-06-19

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