How to help: please amplify this message
My initial goal with this article was to inform English-language readers of the Covid Pass changes happening in Europe.
But as I’ve seen that my post has bounced back and gotten attention in my country, I’ve thought that maybe this message can have an impact here as well.
We’re a small country and dependent on the outside world. Our politicians care how we’re perceived by the EU, the US, and the world. No one talks about us much, so any outside attention we do get is discussed endlessly.
It’d be a big deal here if the rest of the world starts talking about the craziness of our new Covid Pass rules.
My country is much too invested – both literally invested with money and technology, as well as politically and emotionally invested with laws and media focus – to flip immediately and kill the Covid Pass. And as I’ve described, about half the other EU countries have some restrictions based on their own Covid Passes, so my country can hide in their shadow.
But Lithuania has progressed further down this path than others with rules that are uniquely crazy.
I think that attention from abroad can have a positive impact in forcing politicians here to reduce and eliminate the spite and craziness of the Covid Pass regime. In a small country like ours, it doesn’t take many people to hear this message for it to have an effect.
And most importantly, outside attention could open room for actual debate about the Covid Pass. When people see that outsiders perceive these rules with horror and outrage, they feel less need to censor themselves and can instead enter into a real discussion about the profound changes that are happening in society.
The Opportunity Pass in Lithuania is still new and has many implementation snafus. If the Covid Pass is allowed to continue, the problems will be fixed, bureaucracy will grow and become entrenched, and this regime will be normalized and accepted.
And then the case of Lithuania will be heralded by other countries as a successful example of a nation where the Covid Pass is required to have “the opportunity to participate in society”.
And where those who do not have a Covid Pass are banned from society.
I’m a very ordinary man. I’ve never cared about politics. I’ve never been to a protest in my life. My favourite activity is going to the forest to hunt for wild mushrooms with my wife and children (the chanterelles are heavenly this year!).
That’s why I want to stop it – for my country and for every other country. Lithuania is the harbinger of the future facing every nation if we continue down the path of a Covid Pass regime.
So here’s my request to you:
Please forward this message on. Let people know what’s happening.
Sunlight is the best disinfectant.
You can verify on the official websites of our government every rule which I’ve described in this article. The official law and full details are in our language, but the government created English-language pages which have descriptions of the main restrictions:
The Health Ministry main page.
The coronavirus page of the Health Ministry.
The Health Ministry’s official description in English of Covid restrictions. For the details of the Covid Pass, look under “National Certificate (Covid Passport).” For the restrictions against people without the Covid Pass, look under the heading “Additional measures to manage the pandemic as of 13 September”.
The official government website about the Opportunity Pass. The site is made by the Ministry of the Economy and Innovation.
FAQ about Covid restrictions, made by the Ministry of the Economy and Innovation.
The state of emergency declaration of 26-Feb-20. The temporary law has been updated and modified numerous times in the last 19 months, including with the current Covid Pass restrictions. The most recent version of the law is effective from 13-Sep-21 to 15-Oct-21. The official version is in Lithuanian. The PDF in the link above is an unofficial English-language translation posted by the Ministry of Health.
I’ve tried to be scrupulous in reporting the Covid Pass rules in our country. But the rules are convoluted and are changed almost daily. If you find something wrong, or something which I should include, please let me know.
Comments, questions, ideas, corrections? Feel free to email me.
I read every message. I have more time now that I’m suspended from work.
Lastly, many people have written to offer money. It’s very kind, and I’m humbled by the goodness and generosity in these messages. But I don’t want money or recognition. All I want is to get the message out. I’m not social media savvy. I have zero platform. I’m just an ordinary man trapped in a Kafkaesque world of mind-numbing absurdity. So I’d be deeply grateful for any help you can give to draw attention to this message.
To reach an even wider audience, I joined Twitter (@gluboco) and posted a thread on 22-Sept which complements this article. The thread started to get attention in the first hours it was online.
But after a few hours, the thread was partially blocked. From my account, I can see the thread with no problem. But other people see a thread with most of the tweets marked “unavailable”. It seems I was “shadow-banned“.
I sent a message to Twitter for help, but I only got a form response: “We typically respond within a few days, but some cases can take a little longer.” After a couple days, they still haven’t responded, and the thread is still censored.
There’s a “thread unroll” where you can see the thread itself uncensored. Please take a look. I hate the ads attached to it, but there’s not much I can do, as Twitter censored the thread itself: uncensored thread
It’s notable to me that in my own country, I’m banned from stores, supermarkets, cafes, banks, etc; and now online, my posts about being banned from society are censored on Twitter.
Since my thread got blocked, I decided to try a different way: I made a video to show life under Lithuania’s Covid Pass regime. Please take a look. I think it’s very eye-opening:
I tried to upload the video to Twitter yesterday but was blocked. So I sent it to people by email. With their help, they got it onto Telegram, which then got posted onto Twitter. And that succeeded: Twitter finally then let me upload it myself.
The video is floating around in many places and versions now. However you find it, please take a look. It’s the future that faces countries if they continue down the path of the Covid Pass.
If you find the video valuable, please share: quote tweet it, retweet, follow me, send the link to people, etc.
Feel free to link to the video or use it in any way you want. I don’t care about credit or recognition; I just want to spread the information.