Coronavirus Pandemic – Tkon Becomes Shining Example

Total Croatia News

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Goran Muscet

March the 18th, 2020 – Over the last several years, TCN has followed a little place called Tkon on the island of Pasman as the host and organiser of Croatia’s biggest and very unique trekking race, by now the world famous Skraping. We did it again this year, announcing the big thing, and then one week later we wrote again to inform you all that it had to be postponed thanks to coronavirus.

The news was bigger and more shocking as it was among the very first international events in Croatia that had to be either cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Anyway, to make the picture more precise, Tkon is a small municipality with less than 900 residents on the eastern part of the island of Pasman. Small it is, but relentless in its progress.

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In the words of a friend who visited last summer: ”We were here eight years ago, it was an undeveloped little settlement without any identity, except for the ferry boat connection with the mainland. This year, we decided to spend a couple of days here, as Tkon has become a true little township, it’s utterly clean, it boasts some beautiful beaches, it’s well lit at night with some good catering services and bars which are open late, as well as shops and everything.”

The Municipal Civil Protection Committee is there, too. They have been invited to have their say on any occasion that could imply a wider impact on the community. They are young, energetic, they live there and they know the place well. 

The commander of the committee is 36-year-old Lovre Bojmic, who holds an M.A. in economics, is otherwise a jack of all trades and has heaps of energy. Here is what he told us in a telephone conversation interrupted by quite a few other callers: Just a few days after coronavirus began to take the world by storm, we locals noticed the summer houses were being opened and people, actually, the owners, mainly from Slovenia and some from other parts of Croatia, were settling in.

The reports from Slovenia weren’t good at that time either and our residents felt disturbed and jeopardised. So, we got our heads together, developed a strategy of how to approach them without being rude or uncivilised, and started literally contacting one after another, essentially asking them to either show some document of health, state their previously visited places or to please just go home,”


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What was their reaction?

We can’t exercise any force, but we had to be careful and try to talk to them when we could as they wouldn’t come out of the house, but we’ve managed to pass the message on that under these circumstances and without any control – they are not welcome. It sounds utterly stupid, I know, they’re part of our community, it’s their property, but they must understand what potential peril they might induce. We keep a link with the regional police station on duty and inform them of each case.

What could you do in case there’s an infected person, there, on the island? 

Being aware of our geo-location, one of the first concrete moves was to adapt a municipality owned two-bedroom apartment into a possible quarantine for four persons. In the case of an epidemic, such a facility is necessary and we’re happy we’ve got it.

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How is the collaboration between the residents and the Municipality?

I can’t praise everyone enough, from our Mayor and his staff, to our many volunteers, to our elderly neighbours who support us and have a trust in us, actually, to every living person in Tkon.

That’s so nice to hear. How else do you operate?

We’ve managed to get essential protection gear for the committee and our volunteers. We have two teams with eight members each. Our laptop is the main source of information, we follow most closely what is happening elsewhere, with particular attention being paid to the instructions and orders from our authorities. The teams act according to the situation. Like today, both our teams completed personal house visits to our elderly residents for better instructions on how to protect themselves, but, more importantly, to assure them they’re not supposed to leave their homes, and that our teams will do the shopping for them, pick up their medicines from the pharmacy and do anything else they might need us to do.

That is excellent. How do they accept the visits?

Our guys show up with some protection gear, like with masks, so the first reactions can differ. But as they leave, they notice a tear or two in someone’s eyes. Like in some other parts of Croatia, now the local cafes are closed as well.

Life in this small place has never been more quiet. How do you deal with it?

Just like we’ve been saying to every person we visit or see – this is because we’re cautious, which doesn’t mean we’re fearful. Caution is so much better than fear, isn’t it? The best thing anyone can ever gain from a situation like this is an incredible sense of mutual confidence and solidarity, all setbacks aside.

We’re inclined to believe that Tkon is just one of the many examples of such responsible and efficient engagement of practically everybody in a community. The authorities higher up issue instructions and orders, but if they are not implemented on the ground, they are of little use. Be like Tkon.

Make sure to follow our dedicated section for rolling information on coronavirus in Croatia.


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