Since COVID-19 affects the entire globe, from China through the Ivory Coast to Argentina, governments all over the world have implemented emergency rules to save as many lives as possible. No one, not even members of parliaments, governments, royal families, football teams, or celebrities are immune to the spread of the Chinese coronavirus. News about new infections and quarantining public figures pop up frequently on the internet. This is the first pandemic for a considerable period of time and it is certainly the cause of the biggest change in our way of life our generation can recall.
The coronavirus crisis an enormous challenge—physically, mentally, emotionally, and economically. Fortunately, constitutions include clauses for such crises—and it should no surprise that those clauses should be invoked.
The United States, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom—and several other EU member states—just to mention a few democratic countries, all passed emergency decrees and legislation. Hungary followed in line with a number of these measures: or, to be clear, Hungary was one of the few countries that introduced countermeasures at the right time, fast and effective enough to slow down the spread of the virus.
Zoltán Szalai is editor in chief of the Hungarian weekly https://mandiner.hu/’. Miklós Szánthó is director of the Center for Fundamental Rights in Budapest.