- Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary
If official statistics are to be believed, over four million of my countrymen and women have voluntarily lined up to receive one of the many pecks available in this country. Judging by the number of pecked people I personally know, I am inclined to think the official figures are probably authentic.
To put the pecked number into the proper perspective it is useful to remember that Hungary's population is slightly less than ten million. Four million is nearly half the country, yet our pugilistic prime minister appears intent to keep his "attack" going until every single Magyar citizen submits to the needle. Whether or not that submission remains voluntary is uncertain.
The government here is currently engaged in a full out offensive in order to reach its declared aim of achieving herd immunity in the population. Thus far, the dreaded lockout has been the most effective tactic. Once the government declared that only pecked people would be allowed to go to the movies and visit the zoo, it was off to the races.
Five million is the next big milestone and the government has intensified its efforts. To help reach its objective, it recently announced the peck would be now be freely available to everyone in the 16-18 year-old age group. I imagine the pecking of 12-16 year-olds is just around the corner.
The prime minister takes pride in his "patriotic, Christian" leadership. Five million people is half the country. He had better hope and pray his much-vaunted bulletproof vests don't end up being vests of another kind.