Updated March 26, 2021, 6:35 a.m.
SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach warns on ZDF of a “brilliant” third corona wave and many chronically ill. A harder lockdown is inevitable for him. The Rostock city chief Claus Ruhe Madsen, on the other hand, holds: “We need offers instead of bans.”
There is talk of executioners, of the last battle, even of up to 100,000 new infections per day: The mood in Maybrit Illner’s panel discussion is desperate to gloomy on Thursday evening. The third corona wave, the back and forth with the Easter shutdown and the Federal Chancellor’s admission of errors have left their mark.
What does politics want? What else should you wish for yourself? There is currently great perplexity in pandemic Germany.
These are the guests
Michael Müller: The governing mayor of Berlin is one of the group of country leaders who invented the Easter shutdown, which has now been stopped again, on Tuesday night. At first he thought it was a viable option, admits the SPD politician. “I have to recognize that after a year of constant stress we are in a situation where this is no longer acceptable for many people.”
Karl Lauterbach: The SPD health politician and epidemiologist sees a “brilliant third wave” rolling towards Germany. That is why he advises night curfews instead of the already discarded Easter rest. “Curfews have an extremely bad reputation, but they work.”
Order Tekkal: The journalist and author would like to see a “courageous republic” in Germany. “Made in Germany” actually stands for excellence – instead, however, there is no progress in vaccinating against the coronavirus. “That hurts me. Because we know we can actually do better.”
Margot Käßmann: The Protestant theologian criticizes that people are not trusted enough in this pandemic. She also wants the churches to be able to celebrate services over Easter. A year ago that was still forbidden because there were no masks or hygiene concepts. “The churches have been practicing this over the past few months.”
Claus Ruhe Madsen: The non-party mayor of Rostock has comparatively low incidence values in his city and lets tested spectators back into the football stadium. “We need offers instead of bans,” he is convinced.
Smudo: The rapper is one of the developers of the Luca app. It is intended to facilitate contact tracking. Above all, in contrast to the Corona warning app, the app is already connected to more than 100 health authorities and is intended to shorten the warnings of possible infections. “The response has been overwhelming,” says Smudo. “This shortening is an absolute key in the pandemic.”
That is the moment of the evening
This is not the time for good news. Instead, Karl Lauterbach has particularly bad numbers in his luggage, which should not make it easier for the audience to fall asleep after the show. “Now there is another very difficult final battle,” says the Social Democrat, referring to his medical colleagues.
Some of them fear that up to 100,000 people in Germany could soon be infected with the corona virus every day. According to Lauterbach, many younger people could also become seriously and protractedly ill. “We have a wave of chronically ill people ahead of us.”
Lauterbach would therefore like to administer “hard medicine” and insert a two-week hard lockdown. No wonder that the epidemiologist has no understanding for the Saarland’s plans. The local government announced on Thursday that it would largely remove the lockdown after Easter.
With a negative corona test, shopping, culture and sports should be possible again there. Lauterbach can’t do anything with that: “We don’t need to try out what I can do with a few tests, as we did with Jugend forscht.”
This is the speech duel of the evening
Lauterbach has an aggressive opponent in the round. The Lord Mayor of Rostock, Claus Ruhe Madsen, criticizes: In Germany, the pandemic is being managed too much from the point of view of the administration and not from the point of view of the people.
If people are forced to stay home and stare at the ceiling over Easter, they are likely going to their neighbors for a bottle or several of wine. This then leads to infections in the private sector, says Madsen. “We are actually a country of poets and thinkers – and now the turnkey and hangman.”
That doesn’t go down well with the two politicians in the group. But the Rostock does not let himself be deterred: “It is too one-sided for me to say: a lockdown is the answer.”
He comes to exactly the opposite conclusion, says Karl Lauterbach. In his opinion, people want to feel confident that the measures are working. And, in his opinion, this security is primarily provided by a lockdown: “The lockdowns in Europe have certainly saved the lives of many millions of people,” says Lauterbach.
In Germany, 500,000 people were saved with it. “You can’t say: It was all crap so far.”
That’s the result
It is a mystery why specific ideas for fighting pandemics are only marginally discussed in this program. Rapper Smudo, for example, only has a few minutes at the very end to present his Luca app. Anyone who has never heard of it is unlikely to have penetrated the concept in such a short time.
It’s not a particularly constructive hour. The guests insist on their positions and hardly move towards each other. But that’s no wonder: the justified fear of another sharp rise in numbers and the justified desire to relax can hardly be poured into a common concept.
Berlin’s mayor puts it in a nutshell: they are currently looking forward to model projects – and at the same time they are shaking their heads about the opening plans in Saarland. “There is not THE population that wants THAT, but there are 100 different opinions in the population,” says Michael Müller Politicians try to do justice to as many as possible. And nothing half or whole comes out of it.
So the whole situation is very muddled. “Maybe everyone can encourage each other: We’ll get through this,” says theologian Margot Käßmann at the end. In this situation there is probably only one thing left: hope for an Easter miracle.
Political news is boring and boring? Our current caricatures prove the opposite – every day anew.