Just before Christmas, the country should again fall into paralysis. The Chancellor was right. Could the pandemic be under control on January 10?

I am not one of those careful people who already have all the presents together. I will struggle to get something for everyone on Tuesday before the country paralyzes. At Christmas we usually sit together in large groups. This time there will be three of us, parents and daughter, and we will feel weird. Then New Year’s Eve: without fireworks, New Year’s Eve is of course boring.

What would be the alternative?

But so it is. That’s how it must be when people are re-infected en masse every day, when 400 to 600 people die every day. Democracies must then show humanity and try to contain this nasty pandemic with the greatest possible means. If a light lockdown does not work, then the tightening that was decided this morning is obvious.

The consequences for our economic life and culture are of course fatal. Standstill and exclusion naturally lead to tensions in small apartments with many people on the one hand, and loneliness for singles on the other. But what would be the alternative? More indifference or cynicism?

We will miss Merkel soon

The countries around us are in any case further ahead. Austria or France had previously begun to take drastic measures without breaking the second wave. Switzerland, on the other hand, remains stubborn, although numbers there are also increasing. The president, barricaded in the White House, doesn’t care about the monstrous number of people infected and dead, because he only cares about himself forever and now praises himself for having the vaccine. Absurd special case.

In Germany it’s too early for an obituary, it’s true, but I’m pretty sure we’ll soon miss our Chancellor once she leaves us alone with the 16 mountain dwarves. In recent weeks and months, she has shown greater clarity and more judgment than any other. If it had been up to her, the lockdown at the end of October would have been less easy and now, of course, she wouldn’t have had to tighten up at Christmas.

This weird back and forth

But it didn’t work. The prime ministers knew better, didn’t want one and didn’t want the other at all. They wanted to distinguish themselves from each other and tackle the pandemic to their own taste. This is how this strange back and forth of recent weeks came about, which has made citizens suffer at a loss and thus erodes confidence in the government.

Looking back on this virus year, the debate in the Bundestag last week should not be missed, when the Chancellor, contrary to her habit, showed how she felt. Phrases like these are etched in our memory: “If we have too many contacts before Christmas and it was the last Christmas with the grandparents, then we missed something!”

“I believe in the power of enlightenment”

When she said the pandemic had entered its crucial stage, Beatrix von Storch intervened that nothing had been proven. In principle, the Chancellor responded pleasantly. ‘You know, that’s the difference. I believe in the power of enlightenment. ‘ She went on to say “that gravity cannot be canceled, the speed of light and other facts cannot.”

Roared well. She should have done more to lower the visor.

Even among my friends, there are those who despise Merkel who they see as a mistake from the start: everything is wrong, for 16 years, a single disaster. You also write it in their comments on the State of the Union and in between I thought: there is a business model behind it and not necessarily a belief. I now know they mean it.

Ignorance is not an alternative

However it may be. I remember what Alice Weidel of the AfD said about this: she rummaged about the “bag of tricks of authoritarian rule” that traps civilians and also conducts “hysteria for climate protection.” To wrap things up, she said to the organ tone of wickedness, “Get out of your spiritual Wandlitz!” In any case, this advanced ignorance is not an alternative to government policy. German assets.

Markus Söder once said that every politician should be measured by how he handles Covid-19. Sounds good, can be good too. Also applies to him. Bavaria does not have the largest number of cases, but it does have the most deaths: 4,848 until last Friday. The Bavarian Prime Minister has just admitted that the slight lockdown since late October was a mistake. And last but not least.

The mnemonics came from Söder

It’s easy to say about him that he likes spicy and is looking for the big show. That’s right, but that’s not all. The audience relieves him of the restless effort to rise to the challenge. The motto at today’s press conference came from him: Bergamo is closer than some thought. All or nothing, that’s the alternative.

Medical, police and military personnel in Ponte San Pietro Bergamo, Italy, in March: the city in northern Italy has become the symbol of a pandemic that got out of hand. (Source: Carlo Cozzoli / Fotogramma / Image Images)

North Rhine-Westphalia has the most infected people, no wonder, because it is also the largest state: 314,937. Which brings us to Armin Laschet. It will tell him in January what his party thinks of his crisis management. She then elects the new president who has at least one right of entry to the chancellor. Those who know the inner workings of the CDU currently see Friedrich Merz in charge.

Should that be good news? And for whom? How good to have this chancellor for a while. The pandemic is doing what it wants to us. For how much longer? Nobody knows. We will take stock again on 10 January.

From now on, the principle of hope applies even more than before. From now on we live in two worlds. In one world, we are shocked by the dead and infected records and hope the lockdown can break the second wave. In the other world, we will soon be lining up at the vaccination centers to get vaccinated against the virus.

Good luck! And: stay away from the virus!

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