“We have very, very difficult months ahead of us”

“Hello, this is Jens Spahn”. The Federal Minister of Health reports by video from the quarantine at home, the CDU politician who has is doing well so far. It is yet another appeal to citizens: “We are all more important than ever”; “It’s serious”; “Do not listen to those who trivialize and appease.”

Almost at the same time, thousands are demonstrating on and around Berlin’s Alexanderplatz against the state corona measures, without masks.

It is a clear minority, but the problem that politics cannot get under control: The number of infections continues to rise, and not only in Berlin are the health authorities increasingly overwhelmed by making contacts.

Analysis of movement profiles clearly shows that many citizens are not reducing their number of contacts, and many are simply tired of the warnings. At the weekend, the Chancellor even made her urgent appeal repeated as a podcast a week earlier.

Opponents of the state corona protective measures demonstrate without masks in BerlinPhoto: DAVIDS / Sven Darmer

Decision week

And so it will be a week of decision; It is expected that Chancellor and the heads of government of the federal states will interconnect again, since Merkel will make a government declaration on Thursday in the Bundestag on the corona situation, clarification beforehand could make sense. As Merkel feared in mid-October, the measures recently decided do not seem to be sufficient.

“We are facing very, very difficult months,” said Merkel according to a “Bild” report in a conversation with the Union faction leaders of the federal states on Sunday evening. The upcoming Prime Minister’s Conference gives her “not a good feeling”. “It can’t go on like this,” she said. They assume “the number of infections will continue to rise sharply”.

According to image information, Merkel sees vacation travel as a decisive factor: “It happened through vacation travel,” the tabloid quoted the Chancellor as saying. She also assumes that major events outside are not to be expected until at least February.

The SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach warns of a hard lockdown.Photo: imago images / Political-Moments

Failure of Merkel’s appeal policy?

“Decisions have to be made this week, that is very clear,” said the SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach in an interview with the Tagesspiegel.

“We have doubled the number of intensive care patients in ten days. It runs like clockwork, like something out of the epidemiology textbook. ”It’s about doing something quickly to get through it avoid a hard second lockdown. “We have enough evidence that the appeals are no longer enough.”

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Only podcasts from the Chancellor are not enough, although they are absolutely correct in terms of their subject matter and tone. So far, there have been no pictures of overcrowded intensive care units and the people are partly tired, “as far as the measures are concerned and because there are always will-o’-the-wisps who pretend there is a third way,” emphasizes Lauterbach. “As if it were enough to wear masks, keep your distance and not go to the Turkish wedding and ventilate properly.”

With his expertise as a former epidemiologist, he has also become an important advisor for the federal and state governments, especially now in this phase. “The difference in the first wave was the dramatic images from Italy, which led to a high level of discipline in us too,” he says. Almost all of his prophecies came true, even if he was initially cursed as Kassandra of the ministry. “I would probably wish more than anyone that I was wrong. I’d rather be discredited and agree to live with it. “

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What to do? Chancellor is very concerned about the infection dynamics.Photo: imago images / Jens Schicke

Contact restrictions as an option

What options are still possible now? Chancellor (CDU) refers in a mantra to reducing contacts – nationwide restrictions, for example to only five people, would be an option. This could – depending on the outbreak and as discussed in the Berlin Senate – go hand in hand with a renewed closure of the gastronomy, as the district of Berchtesgadener Land has already ordered.

Since the outbreak is very high and dynamic almost everywhere, unlike in the first wave, it makes sense to come back to more clear and nationwide uniform rain. Since that The system of contact tracking no longer works with so many infections, the Charité virologist Christian Drosten suggested to concentrate on outbreak clusters, i.e. only to look for contacts that could infect many more: colleagues at work or guests at a party. “Instead of testing a lot and in an untargeted manner, Japan decided early on to prevent transmission clusters.

To this end, the state has drawn up lists of typical social situations in which transmission clusters arise, ”Drosten suggested in“ Die Zeit ”. In addition, he brings a more age-specific consideration of new infections (“over 50 incidence”) into play, in order to set in motion aggravations in particular where many older citizens are at risk; In addition, more tests for visitors at the entrance to nursing and retirement homes could help.

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The three candidates for the federal chairmanship of the CDU, Norbert Röttgen, Armin Laschet and Friedrich Merz, wrestle with when and how …Photo: dpa

Trouble about the CDU party congress

It will also be a week of decision for the CDU, there is a lot of explosive involved if the decision on the CDU party congress planned for December 4th in Stuttgart is to be made this Monday. Many in the party do not think it is possible to reduce contacts and then around 1000 delegates from all over Germany travel to the event.

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The North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) is for another postponement into next year, his adversary Friedrich Merz – according to a Forsa survey with 45 percent the clear favorite, at least among the CDU members – insists on a decision this year.

According to party circles, CDU general secretary Paul Ziemiak has developed a decentralized party convention model – only around 100 delegates could gather at eight to ten locations and cast their votes on site. On Sunday afternoon, according to Tagesspiegel information, the three candidates for the chair, Armin Laschet, Friedrich Merz and Norbert Röttgen, discussed ways out of the difficult situation with CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer Meeting reported.

It is clear to everyone that prolonged self-employment or open arguments about how to deal with people’s concerns about the Corona situation would not go down well. Because the citizens want to know above all what plan there is for the difficult Corona autumn.

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