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Sport Opinion: Germany is facing a long, hard winter

04:25  18 october  2020
04:25  18 october  2020 Source:   dw.com

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After facing the possibility of death from Allied bombs falling on German cities, those who survived suffered new hardships. For those who came home life was also hard : German captivity was a stigma. “Fellow citizens despised us,” calmly recalls Panchenko.

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For a long time it was said that the coronavirus did not have Germany under control as severely as other countries. The shock is all the greater now. Politicians are now also chasing the pandemic, says Jens Thurau.

Provided by Deutsche Welle © Markus Scholz / dpa / picture-alliance Provided by Deutsche Welle

The corona virus and the Germans in spring: These were contact restrictions and decisive action by politicians. The Germans got to know working in the home office, rode bicycles and stayed at home most of the time. We were shocked to see the pictures from Italy or Spain from completely overloaded clinics. From the dead.

We were repulsed by the indifference of President Bolsonaro in Brazil and, above all, of Donald Trump in the White House. But we had Angela Merkel. And the lockdown wouldn't last forever, then summer would come. Got away with a black eye again, was the general feeling. Even if there were several thousand dead in Germany. The Germans recognized themselves a little in the crisis, and there it was again, the "German fear", the symbol for this was the stacking of toilet paper in the basement.

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That was quite a long time ago though. Since then, Ive got more qualifications and worked for quite a few different firms, some more environmentally aware than others. I feel much prouder of the recycling symbol now than I used to, probably because its so widely seen.

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The virus has Germany firmly under its control.

Everything is different now. Nothing goes by quickly, not the virus, not the crisis. The Germans had to learn how important the incidence value is. You are experiencing a policy that hectically pronounces bans on accommodation in the hotels that have already collected individual dishes. Everyone, at least most of them, wear disciplined masks where they have to; they would certainly do it in public places too. And you will experience a chancellor who is gradually losing patience with the prime ministers' eagerness to go it alone.

DW-Hauptstadtkorrespondent Jens Thurau © DW DW capital correspondent Jens Thurau

The sayings about the excellent health care of the Germans, about the prudence of their politicians and scientists have faded away, deep concern has spread. The number of infections among Germans compared to those in France, for example, is still comparatively low. But politics is now playing a daring game. A second lockdown should no longer be expected of the economy and culture, and the rulers are placing responsibility for the further course of the pandemic in the hands of the citizens. In the big cities in particular, the regulatory powers have not been able to prevent large celebrations in the summer - that was hardly possible, considering how chronically few staff the police have had for decades.

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C. It is easy both to enter and to travel around pocket- sized Belgium which is divided into the Dutchspeaking north and the French-speaking south. Officially the Belgians speak Dutch, French and German .

E. Not so long ago in Britain if you saw someone reading a newspaper you could tell what kind it was without even checking the name. They put up with the long journey because they want their families to avoid the unhealthy lifestyle of big cities.

Politics seem overwhelmed.

Wear masks, distance, hygiene. And back to the most essential contacts. In a private conversation it becomes clear that more and more people who by and large support the Corona policy now have some questions. Why was and is it a terrible show of strength to be able to visit a dying family member in the clinic , and why is the Bundesliga playing in front of an audience again at the same time? Why do responsible citizens have to forego traveling as a couple to a hotel in the neighboring state while the police fail to break up parties with a few hundred participants?

equations that probably don't help anyone. It doesn't help: the vast majority of the sensible in the country have to go through the crisis again. It might be a hard, cold and dark winter. Politicians have now tried various things, made mistakes, for example first praised federalism and then exaggerated it. But a democratic society consists of freedom and responsibility, not just rights, but also duties.

We have to tackle this ourselves now, each and every one of us. Politics has gotten tangled up in the small and small for now, but the Germans themselves already know well enough what to do now. Corona crisis, episode two: wear masks, keep your distance, limit contacts. And don't lose patience.

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Author: Jens Thurau

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