Code Red and Chill

On Friday the 13th, the Republic of Moldova declared a Code Red (🇲🇩).

Since nobody had any idea what the hell a Code Red was, life went on as usual in Chisinau, one of the most densely inhabited cities in this region.

Even scary stock photos didn’t help:

Red = Danger!

On Saturday, the police shut down the enormous Central Market and fend off angry vendors:

Enraged by the public’s failure to heed the all-important “Code Red”, the mayor, Ion Ceban, ordered (🇲🇩) all public transportation in Chisinau to cease operations on Sunday (today), although they will resume work tomorrow.

My favorite quote:

Some people have been clashing with the police because they [the police] wouldn’t let them set up in an off-limits area.

Listen, the authorities aren’t closing things down just because they love to close things down. They’re doing it because they need to take all means necessary to assure the safety of the citizens.


There are only 12 confirmed cases of the virus in Moldova and zero deaths.

Martial Law

Romania decided to take it to another level and impose martial law (🇷🇴) starting on Monday.


In Iohannis’s speech, he didn’t once mention the word “military”, but it definitely is (🇷🇴) martial law.

Some fun bits:

Military authorities have the power to issue official orders. These carry the weight of law, and the population is required to heed these orders.

The military has the power to execute emergency legislation [from the Parliament] or decrees issued by [government] institutions.


But here’s the stinger:

Once martial law has been imposed, all public and private institutions will be closed, including shopping malls. Only hospitals, pharmacies, and supermarkets will be allowed to function.

People will only be allowed to leave their houses during scheduled periods and only if they possess a pass.

There are 123 confirmed cases of the virus in Romania.


Over here in Pridnestrovie, things could not be more different.

A playlist to help you relax if you’re in self-quarantine

Nobody is panicking. There’s no martial law. There’s no “code red” or scary images on the news. The stores all have plenty of food (and toilet paper, etc.). Everyone is walking around peacefully and normally.

Currently, there are six suspected cases but zero confirmed cases of the virus.

I guess we’ll see which policy plays out better in the long run…

One thought on “Code Red and Chill

  1. Hey mate, remember me? We met in Cluj a lifetime ago. I usually appreciate everything you write, but this time I kind of disagree. And feel you framed some things in a quite dishonest manner.

    Stare de urgenta is not lege martiala. It is state of emergency, which is something that all democratic countries may apply in situations in which public safety is put in danger. Italy did the same too. And, as much as it is important to question the resort to such extreme measures, the Italian example shows how important it is to prevent the situation. It depends with the necessity not to overload the health system, and Italy did it too late. We’re talking of one regional health system which is among the most advanced in Europe, not of some provincial backwater. Also, that zone was affected much more than other regions because of the high traffic and interaction from abroad, which may be the reason why Moldova and Pridnestrove have a small number of cases (after all, Kosovo was probably the last European country to confirm cases, and we can say it has some issues which make it kind of similar to Pridnestrove).

    Also, Iohannis speech does not include the parts you translated, so I must assume they come from another source, which you didn’t mention. While the mess in Chisinau was probably overkill and could be handled way differently, I can understand the measures taken by Romania. And while you’re suggesting – without openly saying it – they are antidemocratic, well, it’s actually something which is foreseen by the constitution and which, in times of public safety emergencies, is not a scandal or a threat to democracy. Even to a flawed democracy such as the Romanian one.


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