Both Jankuloski and Panovski are heroes in this stormy time in Macedonia. They both have different approaches, but the goal comes from their soul – to help people in need and to give them positive energy.
They both have different approaches and different expertise, but their goal is the same – to help people who are struggling with the so-called “corona witch”. In Macedonia there are about 1000 newly infected per day, there are not enough vaccines, and the hospital facilities are almost full.
One of them is Denis Jankuloski, an employee of the Center for Public Health. Every day for the last year, he goes to the homes of people infected with the coronavirus to get smears – he has traveled thousands of kilometers, wearing a protective suit, with a mask, a visor and glasses. During this period, he lost 16 kilograms and tested about 6 thousand people. He was nicknamed “Kosmonautko”.
Every day in the last year, at 6 o’clock in the morning, he appears on Facebook with a song. First he wishes everyone a good day, a good health, a nice start of the week, a nice weekend… and then the music starts. Songs of Bajaga, EKV, Miso Kovac, Zdravko Colic, Piloti, Balasevic are sung, old beautiful Yugoslav hits. And he knows them all, he does not miss a single word, he sings them to the end, bringing a positive energy in the corona crisis.
“When I make these videos I do not think about whether the singing is ok. I see this as a fun in the time of corona. I like to bring smiles to people’s faces, I am glad that many of them take a few minutes of their time to watch this and smile. That is why I will continue with my so-called singing until the extinction of the last corona particle,” he says.
The citizens listen to Libar, Nesanica, Kao ptica na mom dlanu, Nikad te niko nece voljet ko ja, Ko mi tebe uze Tamara, Ne volim januar… Every day, a new song, a new positive message, which always ends with “A hug and a kiss”, and then he goes to the homes of the citizens who are fighting with Covid-19.
When the vaccination started in Macedonia, Jankuloski got a new task – to vaccinate the citizens. But he did not stop singing. And now, every morning, he starts the day with a song before arriving at the vaccination point, but now, instead of “A hug and a kiss”, he greets the citizens with “A hug and a jab”.
In the meantime, he also received the vaccine against Covid-19, took off his protective suit, and now the social networks are full of photos of citizens who were vaccinated at his checkpoin. “It is easier to bear the fear when you are vaccinated by Kosmonautko”, they announce with satisfaction.
Meanwhile, the citizens are struggling with various dilemmas about the symptoms of Covid-19, the interpretation of blood tests, vaccination… Fear and panic reign supreme, but here is Dr. Nikola Panovski, professor of microbiology, who responds on social networks to literally anyone who has dilemmas about Covid-19 treatment, vaccination and prevention.
“I have probably responded to over 5,000 messages so far, read over 1,000 laboratory findings, etc., and I can still endure it; when I think of all those colleagues who work in intensive care in the covid centers, with their masks and goggles taped on their face, I say to myself, this is nothing”, said Dr. Panovski, adding that he is “the middle ground between the opposition and the government” when it comes to all the misunderstandings about dealing with the coronavirus.
Both Jankuloski and Panovski are heroes in this stormy time in Macedonia. They both have different approaches, but the goal comes from their soul – to help people in need and to give them positive energy, until the “corona witch” leaves.
Meri Jordanovska has been a journalist in Macedonia for more than 15 years, and currently works in the news agency “Makfax” and the web portal “A1on”. She has won several awards for investigative journalism.