Anyone who is surprised these days that the number of corona infections in Germany is soaring again after a brief decline, even to unprecedented heights, has learned nothing in the last two years.
Because every time politicians loosened up, scaled back and cast doubt on the effectiveness of this or that method of contact reduction in their often questionable communication, they indicated carelessness, and people breathed with hope and more and more often without a mask and without distance, and the number of infections, illnesses and deaths rose again.
This is also the case this time, especially since the particularly infectious subtype BA.2 omicron now accounts for half of all infections and, as is known, can also infect people who have recovered and those who have been vaccinated.
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Viruses don’t care about “compromise” and partisan politics or the need for influential party members to distinguish themselves with “Freedom Day” rhetoric or pub pampering.
It is true that Germany and the rest of the world will have to “live” with the virus at some point. It is true that there are no measures that can prevent every infection, every illness and every death with the virus that no longer disappears. But the time has not yet come to cast aside caution. And this is certainly not the time to let go of all consideration.
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Not only are there still millions of people, cancer patients and other immunocompromised people, for example, who cannot be vaccinated or for whom the vaccine does not work, there are now millions of people in Europe fleeing the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. People who are not or insufficiently vaccinated.
More about the Ukrainian war on Tagesspiegel Plus:
After more than two years of the pandemic, everyone, whether governor or governed, longs to leave Corona behind. And the Ukraine war makes concerns about distance requirements, use of masks, 2G, 2GPlus or 3G seem comparatively insignificant, and of course you can see it that way in the face of deadly missiles.
However, it is also important to avoid “damaging the German people” on this issue. This is what the oath of office requires of cabinet members. But the latest decisions of the federal government will not achieve this, which can be seen in the numbers that are already increasing.
“Hotspot regulation” is flawed and bold
It is a slap in the face for the vulnerable to abolish the mask requirement in supermarkets. It is brazen to “allow” countries under the “hotspot rule” to introduce certain measures even after March 20, and then not define when a region is considered a hotspot.
Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach started out as a lion who wanted to fight for science-driven politics and ended up as the bedside rug for the symbolic politics of liberals Buschmann and Kubicki.
In the best of cases, he still shouts on Twitter, but he cannot promote a policy that at least tries to protect the health of the weakest, who depend on solidarity. And the Greens sit there with their mouths open. Apparently the party can only do science-driven politics when it comes to climate.
It can hardly be anything other than a token policy demanding approval when, of all things, the mask requirement is struck down: the cheapest, simplest, and at the same time demonstrably effective means of reducing the likelihood of infection indoors. The raison d’être of the government, if there is one, is evident:
Once the masks are out of sight, the pandemic is out of mind, and “freedom” is restored. A “freedom” that comes at the expense of those who, because of their work, their studies or their life situation, have many contacts every day and are at high risk of infection and disease. So mainly at the expense of the less privileged. If that is not a liberal strategy.