The Economist in March 2020 found that 13% of Americans thought the Covid-19 crisis was a hoax, and a large 49% thought the epidemic could be artificial.

Writen by:  Dr. Kalina Grivceva Stardelova

As a doctor, and also as president of the Medical Chamber, where we are introduced to the experiences and the problems of our colleagues with patients during the pandemic, I receive daily updates that the fight against covid-19 is becoming more difficult and uncertain. One reason for this is the undisciplined and irresponsible attitude of many of our citizens towards their own health, but also towards the health of the people with whom they communicate, and most often, we communicate with our loved ones.

For some people, covid-19 is a short and mild illness, but some struggle with severe symptoms and long-term consequences. Today, the numbers of covid-positive patients are really worrying, so most public health institutions have become covid centers, with almost no hospital beds for new patients.

We, the doctors, have faced the challenge. No matter what, we invest ourselves every day and do our best for the health of our patients. As the number of infected and hospitalized patients grows, so does our investment in what we do, and we are even more committed, not only professionally, but also in terms of strengthening mutual honesty and trust with our patients. Teamwork between health professionals and co-workers, of which I am particularly proud, and good co-operation with patients are key to improving the general situation related to the pandemic. Of course, there are great experiences with patients. In general, citizens understand and appreciate the sacrifice of doctors. But, unfortunately, there are also those who do not listen to the advice of health professionals and health authorities to respect the basic measures of protection. So far, the focus has been on saving lives during the pandemic, now our primary goal is to provide health care, i.e. hospital beds for the enormous number of patients.

How did we come to this? Yes, there are objective, real reasons for the spread of the disease, such as the simultaneous action of seasonal flu with covid-19, the indoor activities of the population, which are certainly greater now than in the summer, the mutation of the disease and the like. But the irresponsibility, manifested through the disregard of the recommendations, as well as the large number of those who are skeptical that the pandemic is a reality, are the biggest enemy of us, the health workers.

The World Health Organization is regularly engaged in refuting myths that make people not believe in the existence of corona-19. The Economist in March 2020 found that 13% of Americans thought the Covid-19 crisis was a hoax, and a large 49% thought the epidemic could be artificial. Public figures also spoke about the falsity of the existence of the pandemic, which did not bypass us either.

Psychologists are already studying this phenomenon and I hope they will discover new ways for us to protect ourselves from lies and to help in stopping the spread of misinformation about the coronavirus. Until then, we can only hope that all of us will make an extra effort to help through personal behavior during the pandemic, in order to reduce the number of new infections, because our desire is the same – to get through this period successfully. And we have seen that such success stories exist. But this requires high awareness, discipline and responsibility.


Dr. Kalina Grivceva Stardelova, President of the Medical Chamber of Northern Macedonia