Sunday, February 28, 2021

The harbingers of the third corona wave


Good morning, dear readers,

hopefully you enjoyed the weekend. Here is the annotated daily overview:

WAS WAR?

Appearance and reality don’t go together these days. The sunshine brings us an early spring, a welcome sigh of relief after weeks of shivering cold, snow and ice. Up to 20 degrees in mid-February: The heart opens up, the mind rejoices, at best slightly irritated by the strange weather conditions. Deck chairs on the terrace or balcony, strolling through the park or forest: the appearance is beautiful.

The weekend was as beautiful in many places as it was in Hamburg. (Source: Daniel Bockwoldt / dpa)

Being catches up with us when we switch on the radio, television or the Internet: Then we hear of corona numbers suddenly rising again, of warnings from virologists and of the suspicion that the miserable mutants are on the verge, plunge into the third wave of the pandemic. With the new virus variants you get infected much faster, often a short contact with an infected person is enough. In several EU regions, tough exit bans have been put in place and police officers are barred red zones from. In Italy, Great Britain, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal and the Czech Republic, we see what can also be expected in two or three weeks. The time has come in Flensburg.

Be careful despite the sunshine: So we could probably steer through the early spring halfway unscathed until enough people have their vaccination protection. Unlike in January and February, the cans will probably be available in large quantities from March – so many that the meticulous vaccination ordinance of the Minister of Health with the “vaccination groups”, “vaccinators” and “vaccination centers” may not even keep up. Sooner or later it could be: And now everyone! Then everyone who wants the injection can easily get their spades from the family doctor. Without German perfectionism.

But what is until then? Do we stay disciplined, prudent, responsible for that long? It doesn’t seem like that. For days, the lockdown critics have been drumming for an end to the restrictions, wanting to open this tomorrow and that the day after tomorrow. Today, Monday, most federal states will start their To reopen schools – not on the basis of a uniform concept, but as you wish (the rules in your federal state you can find out here). One talks a lot about “Precautions” – Mask requirement, alternating operation, quick tests – but on closer inspection, all the statements from politicians and lobbyists turn out to be incantations rather than plans. Mask requirement? In Berlin, students are allowed to wear simple cloth masks instead of medical masks. Alternating operation? School classes have been well filled in many places for weeks, an exception for “emergency care” is given to those who can no longer stand the rascals at home. Rapid tests? Mr. Spahn announced grandly – but it is still unclear who should use it, how and where. Meanwhile, the mutants get closer and closer. In Rhineland-Palatinate, several municipalities have tipped the school opening at the last second due to the rapidly increasing number of infections, reports my colleague Lars Wienand.

Once again the principle of hope rules: Will be fine somehow. Just like last fall. As an optimist, that’s okay. Scary as a pessimist. As a realist, at least risky. And what do the experts find? The nationwide school openings without vaccinations and a clear concept are “a disaster all along the line “, says the pediatric intensive care specialist Florian Hoffmann in an interview with my colleague Sonja Eichert. The openings are of course important for the education and care of the children. “From an infectious point of view, however, I have a stomachache because we don’t even know how the infection process will change as a result. Also because the distribution of the variants, especially variant B.1.1.7. From Great Britain, is not yet clear in Germany. ” More and more commentators are warning of the third wave. “The mutant changes everything”, writes the “FAZ”. “One nightmare takes over from another.”

Do we gamble away the successes of the second lockdown by loosening it too soon instead of having a few more weeks of patience? Anyone who listens to doctors like Mr. Hoffmann is forced to take this impression. Business representatives and election campaigners such as Armin Laschet (CDU), Malu Dreyer (SPD) and Susanne Eisenmann (CDU) call their appeals to relax in every microphone. If you had a convincing concept for openings without endangering citizens with increasing infections, that could be a convincing way. Unfortunately, her plan is more appearance than reality.

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WHAT’S UP?

The Cologne Cardinal Woelki is accused of covering up abusers.  (Source: dpa / Marcel Kusch)The Cologne Cardinal Woelki is accused of covering up abusers. (Source: Marcel Kusch / dpa)

The crisis of the Catholic Church is taking on dimensions that threaten its existence. Abuse, cover-up, paternalism, vanity, greed, arrogance: the sanctimonious dignitaries are guilty of so many sins that you don’t even know where to start. In Cologne, believers leave the church in droves because they have no understanding of the autocratic cover-up tricks of the Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki have lost in the abuse scandal – and nobody pulls the rip cord. An institution whose bosses systematically violate their own values ​​in this way loses its credibility. This is now gradually dawning on the bishops who will meet for their digital spring plenary meeting from tomorrow – and some people are afraid: once the first bishop has resigned, that could “cause a landslide “, can be heard. A landslide would probably be the best thing that could happen to Catholics. A fresh start with unencumbered management staff and radical reforms should be the only way to save this shop.

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In Myanmar, the mass demonstrations against the military coup continue. Now there are also protests in Germany: A rally is planned in Frankfurt in the afternoon in front of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China. Beijing supports the generals.

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson today plans to unveil a plan to exit lockdown: The exit and contact restrictions are to be lifted “carefully but irreversibly”. Wouldn’t he be too full of his mouth again?

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An auction house in Perth, Scotland is auctioning almost 2,000 bottles from a rare whiskey collection. Among them is “The Macallan 1926 Fine and Rare”, the most expensive whiskey in the world to date at one and a half million pounds. Presumably he will break his world record again today. But it will probably never be enjoyed. Too bad.

The most expensive whiskey in the world could get even more expensive today.  (Source: dpa / Peter Dibdin / Whiskey Auctioneer / dpa)The most expensive whiskey in the world could get even more expensive today. (Source: Peter Dibdin / Whiskey Auctioneer / dpa / dpa)

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READ WHAT

Jewish life on German soil has been documented for 1,700 years. At the opening of the anniversary year in the Cologne synagogue, Federal President Steinmeier made clear demands on society as a whole. The colleagues of “Deutsche Welle” summarize them.

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The physics professor Roland Wiesendanger makes headlines with the thesis that the coronavirus came into the world as a result of a laboratory accident in Wuhan. To be taken seriously or nonsensical? Our researcher Lars Wienand looked into the question.

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More than 31 million people worldwide already have full protection against Covid-19. Sounds like a lot, but it’s not even half a percent of the world’s population. My colleagues Sandra Sperling and Axel Krüger will show you when Corona could be defeated.

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Smallpox, cholera, tuberculosis: The list of plagues of mankind is long. In an interview with my colleague Marc von Lüpke, the physician and historian Ronald D. Gerste explains, how the scourges could be defeated – and what that means for the corona crisis.

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WHAT AMUSES ME?

We got into a tricky position …

  (Source: Mario Lars) (Source: Mario Lars)

Please stay in a good mood anyway. I wish you a sunny start to the week.

Best regards,

your

Florian Harms
Editor-in-chief of t-online
E-mail: [email protected]

With material from dpa.

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