When faced with the threat of a new pandemic, ministers huddled together and etched ut their plans.
The resolution they created says how to respond to the spread of a new type of infectious disease, which "cannot be planned in advance down to the smallest detail." But Germany is "well prepared for such a situation." It is March 12, 2020. Ten days later, the roundtable deliberates again, this time in a conference call - and sends the country into lockdown for the first time.
For twelve months now, the Conference of Minister Presidents (MPK) has been enacting rules and measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus. There is wrangling, arguing, sometimes the countries end up doing the opposite of what they decided just days before. Rumours spread of gross incompetency at the highest levels.
After the historic lockdown decision, there are four meetings in April, first to extend the measures, then the country is unlocked again. Summer is coming. The infection figures are low, and so are the ambitions of the federal and state governments. From May to September, there are only five meetings; apparently, politicians assume they have the virus under control. Experts' warnings of a massive second wave in the fall do not hold water.
Then the numbers rise. At the MPK on October 14, new measures are decided: extended masking obligation, curfew for restaurants and a limit of private parties to ten people. This applies to regions where the incidence is above 50. It leaks out that the chancellor is annoyed. In her risk-averse mania, she wanted stricter measures. The announcements are not tough enough, she is reported to have said at the meeting. "It's just not enough what we're doing here."
Grumbling in the states grows louder
Two weeks later, "lockdown light" comes. Gastronomy is closed, contacts only to one other household. In three more meetings, the measures are extended and adjusted. It does not succeed in containing the virus, as many experts predicted. On December 13, the MPK agrees to a second shutdown: Schools are shut down, businesses have to close, Christmas with family is limited. Beyond one's own household, four adults and their children under 14 can be invited, all of whom must be "from the immediate family."
From January 5, the stores are closed. The grumbling from the countries is getting louder. On February 10, it is decided that hairdressers will be allowed to reopen at the beginning of March. Some countries also open their nurseries on their own initiative. Finally, on March 3, "opening perspectives" are decided. If the incidence is below 50, retailers, museums and zoos can open; if the incidence is between 50, and if above 30 but below 100, "appointment shopping" will be allowed. There is also an emergency brake: if the incidence rises above 100, the relaxations must be stopped. The implementation does not work out, in North Rhine-Westphalia or in Brandenburg individual districts do not tighten despite high infection figures.
The latest is Easter lockdown, but no Easter lockdown. Couple this with the vaccine rollout disgrace and the EU vaccine fiasco, as well as the Astra-Zeneca vidictive mess from the EU and Germany, reputations are in taters. Nobody trusts Germany's leaders and even fewer trust the German head of the EU. Incompetent decisions, idiotic plans, needless dangerous bureaucracy at a time when time coast lives, it is no wonder the EU and Germany have fast turned into a laughing stock worldwide.
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