“You just have to work, especially now, in a village,” he said, trying to emphasize that the pandemic should not deter farmers from sowing crops this spring.
“It's nice watching television: people are working in tractors, no one is talking about the virus,” he went on. “There, the tractor will heal everyone. The fields heal everyone.”
He doesn’t exactly say to put a person who tested positive for the virus in a tractor as a means to cure them, but it’s the closest thing. Sweeping generalizations and broad statements like “the tractor will heal everyone, the fields heal everyone” are not uncommon with the political figure, who often likes to draw attention to his connection to the land and the people living in rural environments.
As of now, Belarus has 36 reported cases of the new Coronavirus but given the situation in the European Union, it won’t stay this low for much longer.
Lukashenko’s plea to the farmers to go out in the field could be motivated by other reasons than his concern for their health and safety, but it’s not nearly as potentially dangerous to them as the suggestion that tractors hold some magical power that will keep the virus at bay. Even with recommendations for self-quarantine and social distancing, authorities acknowledge that walks or bike rides outdoors, with no social interaction, are still ok.