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A Thousand Days to Flatten the Curve
The Scholz cabinet approves the final draft of the Infection Protection Act
From 1 October 2022 to 7 April 2023, regardless of case numbers or hospitalisations, and even if not a single person is dying of Omicron anywhere at all, a general FFP2 mask mandate will apply to long-distance trains and airplanes across all of Germany; hospitals and care homes will also require negative tests. Federal states may impose additional mask mandates on local transit and in indoor spaces, including schools, though there will be mandatory exceptions for anyone who can present a negative tests. These tests are no longer state-funded, though, so few people will bother.
In only one point did the government bend to their critics: The notorious mask exception for the recently recovered and the freshly vaccinated is now optional. States can choose to enact the exception but they don’t have to, and so I imagine none will. It’s a way of withdrawing the idiotic rule while saving face.
The liberal justice minister Marco Buschmann, who helped draft the proposal with the help of Karl Lauterbach, explained to the press that the purpose of these measures is to “flatten the curve.”
Well, we will have had over eleven hundred days of curve-flatting here in the Bundesrepublik Deutschland by the time these rules expire in April 2023. That is a long time to be at war with a virus. Along the way we have lost all sight of the purpose of mitigation measures. There is no longer any direction, anything concrete that we are trying to achieve, or even the faintest vision of when it might be appropriate to stop. In the beginning we needed to keep our hospitals at capacity; now, Lauterbach says that the purpose of restrictions is to limit mortality, prevent workplace absences and reduce the number of long-term side-effects. There is no amount of evidence, no quantity of studies, no statistical proof, that can stop these eminently rational science-driven policies.
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