Germany: Merkel Extends Coronavirus Lockdown Amid Discovery of New Variant in Bavaria
Merkel: “Now is the time to guard against the danger posed by this mutated virus.”
On Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel extended the nationwide coronavirus lockdown amid reports of a new variant of the Chinese contagion appearing in Bavaria.
“Now is the time to guard against the danger posed by this mutated virus,” she declared.
Besides Germany, scientists have found mutated, and often more contagious, the Wuhan virus’s variants have n the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil.
Merkel made a move after a meeting with the heads of all 16 German states, 14 of which are governed either by her own conservative CDU party or the left-wing ally, the Social Democrats.
The German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported the new tightened restrictions:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leaders of the country’s 16 states on Tuesday agreed to keep the lockdown in place and introduce tougher measures to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
The lockdown, previously set to expire at the end of January, has now been prolonged until February 14. Most shops, schools and non-essential business, such as gyms and sports centers, will remain closed. The new measures include stricter rules on the types of masks that must be worn in certain public places, and a greater onus on employers to allow working from home.
Although new infections have been decreasing in recent days and the pressure on intensive care units has eased slightly, virologists are worried that more infectious variants, such as the ones identified in the UK and South Africa might spread in the EU country.
“Now is the time to take preventive measures against the threat of this virus,” Merkel told reporters after a meeting with the state premiers.
Despite a tight nationwide lockdown in place since mid-November, the number of new infections continues to rise.
“On Tuesday, the [Germany’s] disease control center reported 11,369 newly confirmed infections and 989 deaths, for an overall death toll of 47,622,” The Associated Press reported.
With her harsh measures failing to have any impact, Merkel finds it increasingly difficult to convince Germans to shut down their businesses and barricade themselves at home.
“Merkel is running out of arguments” for her “new tightened lockdown,” German newspaper Die Welt commented on Wednesday.
Merkel’s much-publicized coronavirus vaccine rollout has now officially a fiasco.
“Germany’s vaccine rollout is not going to plan,” CNBC reported Tuesday. “[N]early a month into the program, its sluggish progress is causing frustration and concern among some German lawmakers and health professionals,” the broadcaster added.
After Merkel messed up the German vaccine program, she wants the Joe Biden administration to cover the shortfall, news reports say.
“The companies as well as the [German] federal government are keen to enter into talks with the new U.S. administration in order to reach adjustments,” the German health ministry said in a statement reported Tuesday.
Some of our readers may recall how last year the mainstream media lauded Merkel’s masterly handling of the Chinese pandemic while mocking and ridiculing President Donald Trump’s approach.
“A German Exception? Why the Country’s Coronavirus Death Rate Is Low,” The New York Times wrote praising Merkel in July 2020.
“How Germany got coronavirus right,” was the verdict of the London’s Financial Times around the same time. “From extensive testing to early track and trace, Germany is a model for tackling the disease,” the business daily added.
Since last November, the picture has changed drastically. Germany has seen some large protests against the government measures, with thousands of people taking to streets in Berlin and other German cities. Even the once-loyal German media is turning on Merkel.
According to the newspaper Die Welt on Tuesday, Merkel called up Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to complain about the growing criticism of her handling of the Chinese pandemic by the German public and the media.
“I had a lovely conversation with Angela Merkel yesterday morning, in which she sort of complained to me that every day she gets it from the German media that they are not doing as well as Canada is,” Trudeau told Canadian reporters on Tuesday.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.
Concentration camps. Increased authoritarian rules, arbitrary enforcement.
I guess history really does repeat itself
What do you expect out of a German?
More infective varieties always take over. It speeds herd immunity. With vaccine close it may have started to make sense to close down, however, until the vaccine can be used to cause herd immunity without additional infections, as far as possible. The economy tradeoff depends on speed.
There is little to no justification for the totalitarian measures all over the world. The utter failure of the promised benefits to materialize nevertheless predictably leads power-hungry politicians redoubling the efforts.
Instead of eradicating the virus the succeed and to eradicate liberty. Courts largely do not dare to protect basic human rights against governmental overreach, and the people under a constant barrage of terror-inducing propaganda only now start to question – in hushed tones and only when it is safe and no potential informant can hear – whether the draconian measures really should be extended for another decade or so?
Then again, compliant subjects are preferable to citizens that have the temerity to hold the public servants to account. Ask any of the power-hungry politicians in charge.
Perhaps one should not blame Frau Merkel too much, though. After all, she just falls back on behavior she has learned as Jungfunktionärin in the FDJ, the communist GDR version of the Hitlerjugend…
“politicians to redouble their efforts.
But instead of eradicating the virus they succeed at best at eradicating liberty.”
Please forgive the poor editing.
Which is why I find her announcement suspicious. A conveniently timed “new variant” arrives just in time to justify the lockdown she wants and forestall criticism.
“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” -William Pitt the Younger
But . . . but . . . what about the Science™?!??! We were all told that if we “followed the science™” then we’d be over the pandemic in a short amount of time and back living our normal lives. So what the hell happened. Was the Science™ wrong? Or did all the so-called “experts” and politicians get it wrong from the outset. Why are we still talking about “lockdowns”. This shit should be over by now.
” Why are we still talking about ‘lockdowns’. This shit should be over by now.”. Because unlike past days, these days about half the population can “work from home”. So only people in the service industries are affected.
Because people like my 92 year old aunt watch TV nooz all day and are scared to death, reinforced by a legion of socialist daughters, raised in Catholic schools who “protect” her and show their love by encouraging her fear and locking her up.
Because all of her loved ones “work from home”, so she only knows the fear and not the pain others are suffering.
Fear is contagious, in every warm-blooded species, and not less so in humans. Governments deliberately stoke the fear to get compliance. Few are willing to take a risk, even a tiny one. I see masked people drive by my window alone in their cars all the time. UPS drivers in a wide open van forced to wear a mask. Horror in people’s eyes if you walk by them outside on a sunny, windy day without a mask on.
Election day was bright sunshine here. I stood outside in a 1-1/2 hour line of probably a hundred people, one of maybe three people without masks.
People have been scared stupid and don’t know enough to counteract the fear.
What I don’t understand is how the German people keep voting for that communist relic after all she’s don’t to them.