Germany’s federal and state government coronavirus policies have set the stage for a catastrophic development, threatening the lives and health of millions. According to figures from Johns Hopkins University, new coronavirus infections in Germany yesterday hit a new record of more than 12,500, with the death toll rising by 40 to 10,084. Across Europe, the total number of new coronavirus infections stands at nearly 8 million.
This virus is spreading faster and faster throughout the world. Since January, more than 380,000 people in Germany have been infected with COVID-19, more than one in ten of them in the last seven days. According to a current Robert Koch Institute (RKI) management report, this applies to nearly every state – in Bremen, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Hesse, nearly one in five of the total cases developed last week.
The fact that many politicians and federal officials have tested positive in recent days also sheds light on the dynamics of the pandemic. Apart from Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn, who yesterday underwent domestic quarantine with “flu symptoms,” the entire leadership of the Federal Office for Constitutional Protection (as the secret service is known) was affected. Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil and Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier are in quarantine because of contact with an infected person. There have been a total of 37 cases of infection among members and employees of the Bundestag (federal parliament) since March.
When the pandemic spread rapidly for the first time in the spring, due to the inaction of European governments, there was a dramatic scene in much of Europe. In the Bergamo region of northern Italy, for example, the military must enter at night to remove coffins that regional crematoriums can no longer bury even though they are operating around the clock. In Spain, bodies have to be kept temporarily in the Olympic ice sports arena, while hospitals – similar to those in France and other countries – are increasingly developing into clusters of infections because nursing staff are not provided with adequate protection.
Across Europe, the pandemic has claimed more than 247,000 lives – the number of lives lost more than anything else on the continent since World War Two. Now, mass death is threatened on a scale that would surpass previous catastrophes if no drastic action is taken to contain the virus.
Hans Kluge, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Europe, said at a press conference on Thursday that COVID-19 is currently “the fifth cause of death and the point of 1,000 deaths per day has now been exceeded.” In Belgium, infected nurses have been forced to return to work because otherwise health care will collapse.
The same “work to death” policies are increasingly being applied by the authorities to people in non-essential industries and businesses that should have closed long ago. For example, workers at the Weidemark slaughterhouse in Sögel, Lower Saxony, were sent back to work this week, even though at least 112 of their colleagues have contracted the coronavirus in unfiltered, cold, circulating factory air. In contrast, the district authorities ordered the so-called “work quarantine” so as not to further reduce “slaughtering capacity.” The theory is that workers “only move between work and home” and are otherwise “isolated”. In other words, workers live only to produce surplus value.
Carola Reimann (Social Democratic Party, SPD), Minister for Social Affairs of Lower Saxony, spoke of a “good solution” that would “protect against infection” and “solve the serious problem of farmers.” Regional spokesmen for the German Workers ‘Union Federation (DGB) and the Food and Catering Workers’ Union (NGG) stated that there was “no legal basis” for ending these slave owner policies.
The RKI status report makes an urgent call for “the entire population to commit to infection control,” without mentioning the government’s policy of opening up the economy. According to the Institute, “cluster cases” and “outbreaks” are observed mainly “in nursing homes and nursing homes” and “in enterprises.”
The report documented a sharp increase in the proportion of elderly people among newly infected people since early September. In the “70 years or older” age group, there has been a 75 percent increase in the number of new infections in the past two weeks, from 2,032 to 3,521. In mid-August – following the reopening of schools – two-thirds of new infections were still under 40 years of age.
Despite these deadly dangers for the 700,000 people over 70 who are in nursing homes across Germany, the federal and state governments “recent decisions to fight the coronavirus pandemic” state that “their respective regulations must not lead to social isolation. fully. of those who are affected. “It must” always be taken into account. “
The media propaganda that young people and other “irresponsible” private individuals are responsible for the new pandemic’s swelling has now been strikingly refuted by empirical surveys.
For example, a recent youth study conducted by the Berlin Center for Social Science Research (WZB) and the TUI Foundation revealed that 52 percent of those surveyed thought current protective measures were appropriate, and 23 percent thought they were “insufficient. “According to a survey conducted by opinion research institute YouGov, 83 percent of young people also adhere to the measures and do so primarily to” protect others “and to” protect their own health “—not too much of the possible punishment for neglecting them.
These are “numbers similar to what we know from the adult survey,” WZB analyst Marcus Spittler noted on Thursday on broadcaster ZDF’s. Morning magazine .
The results of the study again make it clear that the main cause of the dramatic increase in infection is not the personal behavior of young people and workers, but the opening of businesses and schools. This is an international phenomenon and affects all age groups. As Michael Wagner, Professor of Microbiology in Vienna and Aalborg (Denmark) explained on Twitter: “SARS-CoV-2 infection is now occurring in most primary schools in Malmö.”
On Wednesday, an administrative court in Neustadt / Weinstraße rejected an urgent order being sought for an asthma boarding school student from Kaiserslautern and stated that the boy had no right to be exempted from attending classes and studying remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic. A “certain risk of infection with the novel coronavirus” is currently “part of the general life risk for the entire population,” the court said, referring to the “Federal Constitutional Court case law.”
With a 7 day incidence of more than 120 cases per 100,000 population, there are now 15 districts in the worst affected areas, including, as before, the Berchtesgadener district, the municipal districts of Delmenhorst, Berlin Neukölln and Mitte and the Sankt Wendel district. But as weekly news Glass reports, even the disagreeable figures for these districts could be far below the true case figures.
According to the news magazine, the RKI “in many cases mentions the pandemic center number … incorrectly”. “At least 30 percent of all 7-day incidents published by the Institute between August 31 and October 12 are incomplete and therefore untrue. At least one day of data is completely lost. “
In doing so, the Institute provides “a distorted picture of the infection situation in Germany.” Sometimes, according to the RKI, a place “bobs below a 50 mark for weeks, even though the reality is long gone”. For example, on October 8, the RKI reported an incident in the district of Cloppenburg in which “nearly three-quarters of infections disappeared”.
Based on Glass, the 7-day incidence averages “ten percent too low” nationwide – a frightening difference as each case is a multiplier of the exponential spread of the pandemic. In Hamburg the figure is always 25 percent too low, in Saxony 19 percent too low. Under these conditions, comparisons of districts across state borders were “nearly impossible,” concluded Glass. In other words, it is impossible to determine in time whether a district develops into a European hotspot.
As stated by the RKI itself, the reported mortality rate is currently very low, although these figures also indicate the beginning of an exponentially increasing trend. The RKI report cites “reasons” for current patterns of death, the still low average age of those infected, on the one hand, and the government’s “broad testing strategy”, which “increasingly includes mild cases as well.”
Susanne Johna, chair of the Marburger Bund medical association, noted Maybrit Illner The talk show that during the so-called “stay away from home ban” – which Chancellor Angela Merkel and the state prime minister are fighting over in negotiations lasting several hours – people are being tested who have no symptoms. In this way, the test is “wasted what we need elsewhere”. This means that the number of official infections is also increasing less than the true infection rate because testing resources have not been expanded sufficiently.