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Bundestag Vice-President demands new pandemic legislation that will enable a return to mask, test and vaccine requirements in the Fall
Corona is not over with.
Katrin Göring-Eckardt is demanding that her coalition partners in the FDP permit a return to containment measures, when it comes time for the German government to re-issue our pandemic protection legislation after 23 September:
Bundestag Vice President Katrin Göring-Eckardt (Greens) has called for … a change in the FDP’s Corona policy in view of the ongoing pandemic.
“Christian Lindner and the FDP cannot be allowed to keep applying the brakes when it comes to Corona protections in the fall,” she told Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND). “The government must focus on precaution today – for our health, our schools, the economy and catering and cultural industries. We need something we can depend on.”
[According to Göring-Eckardt], early preparation will prevent a last-minute rush to implement decisions if the case numbers start to rise again in the Fall. Göring-Eckardt said that an infection protection law was needed that would function beyond 23 September and allow for mandates … and requirements as necessary. “Christian Lindner and his FDP have a duty here to help secure the protection of the population, as well as our social and economic life in the Fall.”
I know some of my British and American readers are confident that Corona is over, and believe me, I get it. I’ve just returned from several days in Norway. Nobody is masking there, nobody gives a shit about social distancing, nobody talks about vaccines, and everything feels like 2019. It was fantastic, but I’m increasingly convinced that this won’t be the case everywhere. A substantial portion of the West – including major EU countries like Germany, Italy and perhaps even France – will continue to impose seasonal restrictions on public life indefinitely, perhaps for many years.
In all of these places, there have developed pro-containment political constituencies, consisting perhaps of 15–20% of the population, for whom Corona suppression will remain an ideological fixation for the rest of their lives. Opportunist politicians will always be tempted to appeal to these lunatic factions for political support, and thus we will live with this Sword of Damocles over our heads for a very long time.
I’m still recovering from my three weeks of conference hell, and I don’t have deep insights here, except to say that a lot of things have changed forever in the past two years, with remarkably little acknowledgement from anybody. Vast numbers seem to have permanently stopped working, though many of them remain officially employed; it has become totally ordinary and even in many places required to cover your face in public; and millions will now demand closures, contact restrictions and mandatory vaccination in response to seasonal respiratory illnesses of all kinds. None of this would have been worth it, even if mass containment and the vaccines worked.