Popular Zagreb restaurant La Štruk has sent an open letter to the Croatian COVID management team after new restrictions came into force on Wednesday for the hospitality industry in the country.
Because of an increase in new cases, opening hours of cafes and restaurants are restricted and masks have been made mandatory with businesses facing fines between HRK 20,000 and 70,000 if they do not adhere to decisions.
La Štruk, which specialises in the famous Croatian dish of štrukli, posted an open letter today on their social media. Below is the post in full.
Mr. Capak, Vili Beroš, Davor Božinović, Šostar, Mrs. Markotić, let us introduce ourselves. We are a place in Zagreb according to whose working hours many tourists plan their stay in the city, a place which has brought guests from all over the world like presidential and ambassadorial families, the world’s best basketball players, football players, writers, journalists from BBC, CNN to New York Times, and most importantly, where our fellow citizens bring their dear friends, family and guests. We are a restaurant that has been continuously first on TripAdvisor for a year and a half and has been on the Top 15 on that list for six years.
A restaurant that Google has included in its video on the intangible heritage of Croatia. In 2020, we are ranked among 10% of the best restaurants in the world according to TripAdvisor. According to the respectable TasteAtlas, we are a place that offers the best-cooked štrukli in the world, and we are recommended by one of the two most recognised world gastro guides, Gault & Millau Croatia.
We are La Štruk, one of the reasons why people from all over the world have been coming to Zagreb for six years.
And you? You, on the other hand, are the reason why people have been leaving Croatia for years. You and your bureaucratic fellow politicians. That is the difference between us. We create, you tear down.
We are not saying all this to promote or brag because our guests, both present and future, know very well who we are and why they are coming to us, we are saying this to show you what you are destroying. And you’re not just destroying us, we’re just one in a series of beautiful stories that you turn into a horror.
To clarify the essentials immediately so that there is no confusion … coronavirus is an unpleasant and potentially dangerous disease. We are not conspiracy theorists, the Earth is round, tumors can not be treated with vitamin C, Bill Gates is a relatively ok guy, 5G does not chip people, and we vaccinate our children with prescribed vaccines from birth. When it comes to COVID-19, we don’t listen to local singers and average footballers, but world experts. And precisely because we value science and facts, we know that one of the world’s most relevant epidemiologists, Ioannidis, has just proven at Stanford that the mortality for corona is between 0.15 and 0.2%. We know that the WHO claims that lockdown is the worst possible option.
We know that hundreds of relevant epidemiologists and professors, including prof.dr. Sunetra Gupta from Oxford launched an initiative and a petition against restrictive measures and mandatory wearing of masks because they consider it an inappropriate level of risk of disease … We also know that the share of corona-related deaths in total deaths in the world is about 1.6%. In Croatia, it is less than 1%. This means that out of 100 people who die daily, one dies from corona-related causes. It is not negligible, but deaths in traffic accidents are not negligible, and we still drive, hiking is not a safe sport and we still explore the mountains, the passage past Zagreb’s facades is not safe and we still walk, the flu is not harmless at all, so we still hug … life is not a movie with a guaranteed happy ending, but that is exactly the beauty. That is why we live, not hide in the house, and we are not slaves to fear. How you live is not our problem, as long as it does not affect our lives. And that was just starting to happen.
To clarify and repeat, it is not the coronavirus that affects our lives, but you with your panicky, reckless, destructive, uncreative, unrealistic, bureaucratic measures and the creation of emotional blackmail and passive aggression against all citizens through the cheap populist phrase ‘responsibility to others’.
And by presenting numbers on a daily basis (which can be very important and a useful indicator to the scientific community) you target the public to make them more obedient because they are, to the average person, irrelevant and useless data that says nothing about the real danger of this virus.
To explain this in your vocabulary, just as people do not die from viruses, but most often from inadequate, excessive, panic, uncontrolled reactions of the human immune system, also normal life is not destroyed by pandemics and the corona situation, but by your inadequate, excessive, panic, uncontrolled reactions and measures. In other words, you are killing society, just as your own immune system kills a human being. Is this parallel so difficult to understand?
Masks for staff as well as a table distance of 2 meters were never presented as a problem. However, only someone who has never been to a restaurant or has never been to a geometry class can ask that each guest of a cafe and restaurant have four (4) square meters and that the tables are 3 meters away. So, a family of five who from the same household, where some sleep in the same bed, come by the same car to the restaurant (to help you, the area inside the car is about 2 square meters), gets 20 square meters there so as not to get infected.
Even if we ignore this family geometric bizarreness, we cannot ignore the fact that most catering facilities in Croatia are not larger than 60 square meters (often much smaller). According to your calculations, such restaurants can accommodate 3 to 4 families at once. I know that all of you are users of state/city budget funds, but just try to pretend for a second that you are not and that you really have to earn a salary. We know it’s hard to imagine, but give it a try. How would you do that in this calculation? In other words, you just signed a new lockdown, you just called it by another name. But sh*t is sh*t even if it looks like a pie.
If you do not immediately change your decisions and adapt them to the real situation and the real danger of this virus and do not do a circus and create many times more damage than the virus would ever do without you and your measures, we would rather share our štrukli for free at HNK than do business on your conditions.
And we sincerely hope that all other places who stick to themselves will do the same (rougemarin.hr, Basta, Submarine Burger, Otto & Frank, NAV restaurant …)
We are sure of one thing, La Štruk will survive (unfortunately many other restaurants will not) and in the coming years, we will be a place on the map of almost all tourists who go to Croatia.
And you? Um, we leave that to your soul, but we would never want to be you in life, at least out of shame in front of our own children, if not in front of ourselves.